Dear GSU Parents and Community,
By now, you have seen or heard of the unruly and unlawful behavior that occurred last weekend. Although we share our streets with non-GSU property owners and businesses, our university leadership finds this behavior unacceptable and we will do all in our power to stem this activity. The safety of our students is our top priority.
We have moved swiftly this week to take more decisive actions to eliminate the threats to our campus safety and security. This week, the GSU Police Department (GSUPD) met with our partner law enforcement agencies to devise decisive actions. As President, the Chief Operating Officer, the Dean of Students and I have met with adjacent property owners and their teams to develop joint plans.
For those who would enter the streets near our residential halls with unlawful intent, we are taking several actions. Atlanta Police will soon be adding additional license plate reader cameras in the area. GSUPD have license plate readers in the area already. Together, these cameras will increase our coverage and help to identify racers. GSUPD also will be partnering with several police agencies (Atlanta Police, the Fulton County Sheriff's Department, the Georgia State Patrol and the Georgia Tech Police Department) this weekend to enforce all traffic and criminal violations committed in the area. This will be an ongoing partnership targeting problem areas downtown. At our request, Atlanta Police will be adding steel plates to intersections to prevent drag racing and reckless driving. Our Chief Operating Officer has worked with our Police Chief to authorize overtime to add additional GSU police officers to stationary posts throughout the housing corridor in the early evening hours through the early morning hours. We are also having our patrol division increase their regular patrols in the area to strengthen our presence. Uniformed security will increase their presence inside of Piedmont North and Piedmont Central dining.
We will be monitoring the area extremely closely and have plans to act rapidly if there is an escalation in criminal activity. We have been meeting with our security teams of off-campus housing providers to ensure we are immediately notified of large gatherings, criminal violations and unruly behavior. We have spoken to owners of parking lots in the area to make sure they secure their lots and allow us to enforce any loitering on their property. We have our Security and Criminal Investigation Division monitoring live cameras in the housing corridor. This allows them to immediately report any large gatherings.
We are also monitoring social media traffic. We received a tip on a party planned in a parking lot on Easter Sunday. We were able to get the owners to shut the parking lot down. The owners also gave us permission to monitor and enforce trespassing on the property. We will have police drones (weather permitting) monitoring vehicle and pedestrian traffic this weekend.
For our students, we ask that you observe the highest level of conduct and work with our public safety officers to protect our community. GSUPD and the Dean of Students will be offering any assistance that off-campus housing may need with our students who violate any laws or the University Code of Conduct. In conjunction with the Georgia State Patrol and the Atlanta Police, we are reviewing video and identifying those who can be seen breaking the law. GSUPD has provided videos of this past weekend to the Dean of Students Office for their review.
Moving forward, we are requesting through Atlanta Police that the housing corridor be turned into a “No Cruising Zone." Atlanta Police will request this through the City Council. This allows us to enforce the law for cars that continue to cruise the area.
Thanks for your attention and I hope you will partner with our staff to continue making our surrounding area safe and secure for the entire community.