The Atlanta Police Department will be increasing patrols during the holiday season, beginning with  Thanksgiving night through the Chick-Fil-A Bowl in the Georgia Dome and Peach Drop on New Year’s Eve at Underground Atlanta.

Zone commanders throughout the department’s six geographical zones have put together holiday action plans to ensure the safety of citizens from crimes of opportunity that include robberies, burglaries, auto thefts, vehicle break-ins and shoplifting.

The plan includes overtime for Atlanta police officers and coordination with other law enforcement agencies, private security and off-duty personnel. The department will also deploy discretionary units accordingly, including Auto Theft Task Force, DUI Task Force, Motors, Mounted Patrol, C.O.P.S. and others.

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner said, “It’s imperative that citizens be mindful of the opportunistic nature of criminals and be aware of their surroundings at all times.”

Police encourage people to avoid talking on their cellphones while moving through parking lots, while shopping, avoid unlit or unsupervised parking lots, travel in groups after dark when possible, avoid darkly-lit streets, use ATMs indoors and always be vigilant for suspicious behavior.

Chief Turner also reminds citizens that they can help the police by calling 911 if they see any suspicious activity.

Finally, Atlanta Police wants citizens to be mindful of the “Clean Car Campaign,” encouraging people to never leave valuables in a car – not even items that can hint of potential targets, such as the tell-tale ring left by a GPS suction cup on a windshield, or earbuds for an mp3 player.

This holiday season, the department will be distributing “Clean Car Checklists” to motorists around shopping areas throughout the city of Atlanta.

Some of the specific areas of interest during the holidays include:

  • Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza
  • The District at Howell Mill
  • Metropolitan Parkway
  • Memorial Drive Restaurant District
  • West End Mall
  • Greenbriar Mall
  • Edgewood Shopping District
  • Ansley Mall
  • Atlantic Station
  • Centennial Olympic Park
  • Hotel District/Downtown Atlanta
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