“This is the first time all six entities and the APD have come together to jointly attack the crime problem,” Morehouse School of Medicine Police Chief Joseph Chevalier said. “I think this is a great start.”
The plan was formalized Tuesday on Georgia Tech’s campus, which has been plagued by a series of robberies dating back to May, when a student was shot at a parking deck on Northside Drive and Tenth Street. Last week, there were three incidents reported in which Tech students were robbed either on campus or a short distance from the school.
But the tipping point, Turner acknowledged, came Sunday night when four students were carjacked and kidnapped a block away from the Morehouse campus. The youths were able to call 911 on a cell phone and were rescued by police.
“Students should expect to be safe and rest assured we’re doing everything we can,” Turner said.
This is the second major APD initiative on campus crime in the last six months. Last fall then-Police Chief Richard Pennington announced the department would dispatch eight uniformed officers to keep watch over the neighborhoods near Tech and the Atlanta University Center. But Turner said those increased patrols dwindled once the revenue source for overtime pay dried up.
“Police presence is a big ticket, a big key,” Tech Police Chief Teresa Crocker said. Turner did not say how many additional officers — some in uniform, some undercover — would be assigned to the university beats but said additional overtime pay has been freed up.
“I think it will help tremendously to combine all our crime stats, to get one simple picture,” Spelman College Police Chief Steve Bowser said.
Spelman student Jasmine Lynn was killed last September while walking across the Clark Atlanta campus, prompting the APD’s first initiative.
It could take months before a fair appraisal can be made of the latest plan, which goes into effect just weeks before students break for the summer.
The six campuses involved in the initiative are Georgia State, Georgia Tech, Clark Atlanta, Morehouse School of Medicine, Morehouse University and Spelman.