Letter to Atlanta Public Schools employees - CBS46 News

Letter to Atlanta Public Schools employees

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Letter to Atlanta Public Schools employees from Atlanta Public Schools superintendent Meria Carstarphen:

"Over the last several weeks, there has been an increase of car break-ins, car thefts and vandalism across Atlanta. In addition to the recent incidents at one of our stadiums, we also have seen an increase of car break-ins on our campuses and school sites. I am sharing this with you because our director of Safety and Security and I want you to be more aware and safe.  
"The APS Safety and Security Department is working closely with the Atlanta Police Department to investigate and curtail these crimes on our campuses and school sites.  The safety and security of our students and staff are our top priorities, and I urge you to help us by practicing a few safety measures including the following:
1.       Keep your vehicle locked at all times.
2.       Remember to remove all items from your vehicle even if they cannot be clearly seen.
3.       Always be aware of your surroundings when entering and exiting your vehicle. 
4.       Keep your vehicle keys in your hands and immediately ready to enter your vehicle. 
5.       Walk in groups when possible and park in well-lit areas.
6.       If confronted by a suspicious person, do not attempt to challenge them. You should immediately get away and seek help.
7.       Do not leave personal information in your vehicle – i.e. car title, insurance cards, etc.
8.       Anti-theft systems help to provide a layer of protection. If the vehicle has an alarm, it will likely deter the act. 
9.       A hidden tracking device is also a great way to assist law enforcement in locating your vehicle and the criminal if the vehicle is stolen. 
"Last Friday, one of our APS family members was a victim of an attempted car theft.  While this staff member is okay, this disturbing incident hits close to home. APD is investigating this incident.     
"I want you to know that we are working closely with APD to increase security and patrols of our campuses as part of its routine neighborhood patrols. We are also requiring schools with two school resource officers to assign one officer to parking lot patrol. Our sergeants and roving officers will patrol our elementary schools when they are not responding to other calls. You may also see an increased law enforcement presence from the Fulton County Sheriff’s Department and Georgia State Patrol who will be in our neighborhoods and schools to help deter the vandals from criminalizing our property.
"If you should see any suspicious activity on our properties or in the surrounding neighborhoods, please report it to your school resource officer or call 911 immediately. 
"By being alert and communicating with one another, we may be able to deter these types of crimes and keep you and our students safe. Remember, if you see something, say something. We recently started #UnitedWePlay to address our enhanced safety measures in and around our stadiums.  Please join me in helping our district remain safe by practicing these safety measures and by looking out for one another across the district."