ATLANTA - The teen crime problem in the Atlanta area may be worse than the general public realizes. Atlanta police estimates teens may be responsible for 70 percent of recent gas station robberies.
The police department said curbing the problem is more difficult because they said the Atlanta Public Schools police is not sharing information about trouble with teens
APS this past year opted to part ways with the APD school resource program and create their own police force, but six months into its existence, the new police force is coming under fire from the city for not handing over vital information which could help combat juvenile crime.
“In reality, there are children that are out of school right now, today,” said Michael Julian Bond, Atlanta City Council. “When kids are not in school that affects the crime rate.”
There is a correlation between kids missing class and some of those same juveniles acting out, even committing crime.
“If we cannot get the information from a sister agency particularly one that shares our jurisdiction, that creates a tremendous impediment to solving those crimes that are occurring in our community,” said Bond.
This will not sound right to Atlanta taxpayers, but Atlanta police commanders have told the city council, that the independent school police department has to this point, kept sensitive information such as truancy and criminal activity that may have occurred at or around facilities inside its department and has not shared what would the new Atlanta police chief said would be vital crime fighting information.
"I did ask at COBRA yesterday: did our... would our zone majors or did our commanders feel like they would benefit from... were they getting the information they needed and would they benefit from some information? And I feel they would and they did they say they would," said Deputy Chief Stacie Gibbs, Atlanta Police Department. "I mean, it is beneficial to us to know if there's 150 kids that did not show up to school. You know, that does affect what goes on the in the area."
Atlanta Public Safety Chair Andre Dicken appealed to members to open a dialogue with top school officials before slapping them with a city council bill.
Atlanta Public Schools responded late Wednesday afternoon denying their officer are withholding any information to APD, in fact, they stated a liaisons attend weekly city police meetings.
Something else that is not going to make sense to taxpayers is they are paying taxes for city police and school police.
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