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VaHi Safety Team Report

March 20, 2021

Table of Contents

COVID-19 Update 

As of March 19, 2021 Confirmed Cases Cases/
Deaths Population Vaccinations
          1 Shot 2 shots
United States 29,905,513 9,008  545,131  331,996,199 77,230,061 41,934,629
Georgia 1,042,417 9,818  * 18,464  10,617,423 1,935,333 1,109,572
Fulton County 89,723 8,433  ** 1,224  1,063,937 318,135 150,217
City of Atlanta Data not currently available  
* 1,600 probable deaths          
** 230 probable deaths          
Current Statement from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
The CDC has published new guidance for schools, guidelines for those who are fully vaccinated, additional information on variants, and more. Find all CDC guidance on the virus here

Resources for more information and assistance:
State of Georgia Department of Public Health
Fulton County Board of Health COVID-19 Information Hub
Atlanta Strong - COVID-19 Dashboard

The City of Atlanta has activated a text message service for COVID-19 updates. Sign up by texting “ATLCOVID19” to 88877. We are current in Phase 2 (yellow) of our reopening plan. A face mask mandate is in place when in public places.

NB: there are differences in how and when data is reported. When you compare data on the CDC website with data on the Fulton County website for example, you will see differences due to a variety of factors. It is best to use these sources to view general trends rather than specific case counts or deaths on any given day. 


Prowlers Reported
We have had several reports of prowlers caught on camera in the neighborhood recently. One individual has been seen multiple times in the Atkins Park section (St. Augustine, St. Charles, and St. Louis). He has tried car doors, garages, rear and front doors, and peered into windows. We had similar reports on Drewry. On the 11th there was a burglary on Greenwood and burglary reports from St. Louis and N. Highland on the 13th. Both the police and the Virginia-Highland Security Patrol have been made aware of these incidents and video and still shots of the suspects have been shared. Nevertheless, please be diligent about locking your doors, cars and access to your backyards, where possible. Leave on outdoor lights all night if you have them. If you have an alarm system, make sure it is turned on, and if you have video cameras, check them regularly for activity. If you see someone prowling around at night looking for an opportunity, please report this to 911. Video can be shared with APD at

Catalytic Converter Theft
A recent article in the AJC informed us that the theft of catalytic converters is on the rise. This is a crime that makes the rounds every few years. It is relatively quick and easy to remove the unit from your vehicle and thieves can always find a less than reputable scrap metal dealer to pay. In fact, we had a report of one stolen on Drewry. There are devices you can install to make it harder for thieves, but they aren't cheap and they aren't foolproof. To make your vehicle less likely to be targeted, park in a well lit area if possible and somewhere where cameras can record the activity. Again, please report all incidents to 911. Note that replacement can run as high as $3,000. 

Safety at Piedmont Park

By Robert Neff - Flickr: Main Entrance to Piedmont Park #Atlanta, CC BY 2.0,

On Friday, I had the opportunity to represent NPU-F on a safety walk at Piedmont Park. This activity was organized by the Piedmont Park Conservancy and included representatives of PPC, Atlanta Police Department, City of Atlanta Department of Parks and Recreation, and members of the community. The goal was to view and discuss safety issues in the park and to identify solutions. The general issues addressed included:

  • Poor lighting creates dark and dangerous pockets and pathways within the park. The problems include a lack of light fixtures where needed, fixtures that are not working, and fixtures that are ineffective due to blocking tree canopy. PPC will be working with the Parks Department to determine who is responsible for maintaining existing lights (we believe it is Georgia Power). The next step will be to identify funding to install additional lights. 
  • The park currently has nine video cameras installed but they are no longer working due to line of sight issues and aged and obsolete hardware and software. Additional cameras are needed to create a better network of coverage both as a deterrent to criminals and to identify suspects when incidents do occur. One city representative estimated that replacing/upgrading the existing cameras would cost approximately $300K. In addition, the park does not have any license plate readers (LPRs), which might be helpful at entrance/exit points. 
  • Broken sidewalks and paths cause trip and cycling hazards. Repair and replacement of these paths is the responsibility of the Parks Department. PPC will meet with Park staff to identify and prioritize locations that need attention.
  • There are no blue light phones in the park. There are currently no phones in the park and though cell phones are somewhat ubiquitous in society, if someone steals your phone, or if you jog, walk your dog, or exercise in the park without a phone, having easy access to a blue light phone would be a significant safety enhancement for park users. We had a report fairly recently of a woman who was forced to return home before calling police after an incident in the park.
  • PPC security contractors no longer have radios which allow them to directly contact APD. This needs to be addressed between APD, PPC and perhaps Atlanta Police Foundation. 
  • Lack of enforcement for dogs off-leash and illegal unpermitted vendors. This is happening especially in the Meadow and on Oak Hill. In the current climate PPC staff and security (who are unarmed and not sworn police officers) have encountered significant resistance and in some cases violence when trying to enforce leash laws and removal of unpermitted vendors in the park. It was agreed that going forward APD will be called on to enforce these problems each and every time via a 911 call. People taking dogs to the park must either keep them on no more than a 6 foot leash, or allow them off-leash in the dog park only. Vendors who want to sell products in the park must obtain a permit from the Department of Parks and Recreation and abide by the rules of the park in terms of where they can be located (i.e. on hard surfaces and not on the grass), hours of vending, etc. 
The group agreed that we will meet again in a few months to review progress on each of these issues. If you have additional concerns about safety in Piedmont Park, please send me an email at and I will share those concerns with the Piedmont Park Staff. You can also contact Piedmont Park directly via the form at this page

Crime Statistics

March 1 - 15, 2021 Beat
    601   602   613   614
Aggravated Assault 1 2 2 1
Auto Theft -- -- -- --
Burglary Non-Residential 3 1 -- 2
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle 6 13 5 --
Larceny Non-Vehicle -- 1 1 4
Homicide -- -- -- --
Rape -- -- -- --
Robbery Commercial -- -- 2 --
Robbery Pedestrian
Robbery Residential
Beat 601 = all of Virginia-Highland

Beat 602 = Poncey-Highland and Inman Park

Beat 613 = Morningside and parts of Piedmont Heights and Lindridge Martin Manor

Beat 614 = Part of Midtown East including the Garden District
March 1 - 15, 2021    
  Beat 601 Zone 6
Aggravated Assault 1 13
Auto Theft -- 16
Burglary Non-Residential 3 11
Burglary Residential
Larceny From Vehicle 6 72
Larceny Non-Vehicle -- 34
Homicide -- --
Rape -- --
Robbery Commercial -- 3
Robbery Pedestrian
Robbery Residential

Vehicles were entered on Drewry, Ponce de Leon Ave., N.Highland (2), St. Charles Ave., and St. Charles Place. 
If you are a resident and not connected with your street captain, please send a message to to be introduced.

If you are not a resident but would like to be added to the distribution for these reports, please send a message to me at with your name, email address, and affiliation. Thanks.
Stay Safe!
Kay Stephenson
Copyright © 2021 Virginia-Highland Safety Team, All rights reserved.

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