APD increasing patrols along BeltLine's Eastside Trail

“We have officers on foot, bicycle and in an all-terrain vehicle. We want to make sure folks are safe while using the BeltLine.” - APD spokesperson Carlos Campos

Since its opening in October, thousands of people have hit the path to enjoy the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail.

But it’s also been a draw for thieves, too, and in response, the Atlanta Police Department is beefing up it presence along the 2.25-mile section of the BeltLine that runs from Irwin St. to 10th St. and Monroe Dr., connecting the neighborhoods of Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown, Poncey Highland and Virginia Highland.

Earlier this month, a 34-year-old man was jogging near the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park portion of the trail one afternoon when he was approached by three men, one whom was on a bicycle.

According to the police, one of the suspects struck the jogger in the head with his fist, and another produced a gun. The men took the victim’s cellphone before fleeing. It’s one of at least three such armed robberies so far on the trail, but BeltLine organizers and police don’t want it to become a growing trend.

"We have increased patrols along the BeltLine," APD spokesman Carlos Campos told Midtown Patch. “We have officers on foot, bicycle and in an all-terrain vehicle. We want to make sure folks are safe while using the BeltLine.”

BeltLine officials have communicated that a plan is underway to install more lighting along the trail, while additional measures will include security cameras and increased coordination with neighborhood patrol groups.

Atlanta police anticipates it will have its Path Force fully staffed and ready to begin patrols of Beltline in the first or second quarter of next year. The unit is being formed via a three-year $1.87 million federal Community Oriented Policing Services grant, which also calls for the city to contribute $966,075 in additional matching funds.

The grant is enough to fund and create 15 positions. A grant requirement stipulates that the city hire military veterans, and APD has said it would pull from existing officers to staff the Path Force.

APD announced the creation of the Path Force in June, which it said would be dedicated to patrolling and serving as a crime deterrent on the BeltLine. But until the Path Force is put in place, Eastside Trail users can expect to see more police presence during their time enjoying the BeltLine.

And Campos reminds all BeltLine users to be alert and aware of their surroundings while using the trail, and “to call 9-1-1 if they see suspicious activity.”

- East Atlanta Patch Editor Péralte Paul contributed to this story

Clicker December 19, 2012 at 04:52 PM
Ignore it Breck. It trolls every board in town talking about how smart it is and how dumb "this city" is. While fused to the sofa in mom's basement out in Lawrenceville no doubt.
Urbanist December 19, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Comparing Central Park to the parks that are part of the Beltline is completely out of whack. Manhattan is clearly a finite landscape that is, generally speaking, completely developed with the exception of central park. The reason central park works so well within the city is, as I had mentioned before, because there is an appropriate amount of density and diverse uses of development on all 4 borders of it. Were (i) Mahattan's infrastructure developed at a time when autos were a primary mode of transport and (ii) Manhattan not an island, with very limited available space to develop, Central Park very likely would be a useless park. Fortunately for the city, that's not the case. I have nothing against parks. I think they are incredibly important to neighborhoods. However, they are not more important than the development and populations that sustain them, make them valuable, and keep them safe. I'm not sure how you get away with ignoring fact and reason, but you do a pretty good job. I've been through the Eastside trail. It's pretty. However, it's also excessive and, as we all know (because of factual evidence) it's starting to attract crime. Why is it doing that? Because this city hasn't properly developed the areas around this park. So, again, keep believing that these pretty projects with nice photo opportunities and great promotions are an improvement, while the facts work against you. That would be the typical Atlanta attitude towards development.
Breck Prewitt December 19, 2012 at 11:06 PM
When Central Park was built, the population of NYC was well under a million. I'm sure there were plenty of people standing around bitching about it being "excessive" as Urbanist does now. Fortunately for New Yorkers, the park was built, and the city grew around it. Every great endeavor has to deal with the naysayers, those that lack vision, that only see the downside in everything. As I finished my ride on the trail today, on a beautiful December afternoon, all I could think was how happy I am that the city didn't listen to those people..and I look forward to enjoying the trail for many years to come.
Jessee Jackson's Rolex February 17, 2013 at 03:59 PM
we have been walking this stretch daily at dusk with our 45 cal 1911's looking for crims to light up, nothing like a Hornaday Critical Defense load to the face of Curious Georgie to cut down on the stealing
Dan Armstrong February 17, 2013 at 04:35 PM
the New York Times and other publications have done articles about the Belt line praising it .... THEY should know.


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