Please don’t ring in the New Year by firing guns into the air, Atlanta police officials ask. A press release sent out by the Atlanta Police Department asks all residents to refrain from celebratory gun fire, which is a crime. Stray bullets from shooting a gun in the air can cause property damage, bodily injury and even death, police say.
Moreover, celebratory fire is a misdemeanor charge where citizens can face fines up to $1,000. The department is also urging residents not to drink and drive during the holiday. The APD encourages everyone to designate a driver before going out for the night. Use MARTA, take a cab or utilize other modes of transportation.
A zero tolerance policy has been issued for any crime committed during the holiday celebrations and the department will increase police presence in the Downtown Atlanta, Midtown and other areas. Safety zones will be established with officers visible at nearly every downtown Atlanta street corner and surrounding areas. A variety of events are taking place in the city and the APD is offering a few tips to enjoy the city safely.
New Year’s Eve Tips:
· Celebrate safely: Don’t participate in celebratory gunfire. The act of pointing a gun towards the sky and firing shots into the air to commemorate an event or holiday is unsafe and against the law. In Atlanta, anyone caught firing a gun into the air could be charged with a misdemeanor and face a fine of up to $1,000.
· Prevent crime: Don’t make it easy for criminals to break into your vehicle by keeping your car clean. Follow the Atlanta Police Department’s Clean Car Campaign by removing all valuables including purses, cell phones, GPS navigation systems, laptops, tablet computers, firearms and other valuables from unattended vehicles.
· Plan ahead: Consider taking MARTA to events, or carpooling, to minimize the traffic volume expected in Downtown and Midtown Atlanta.
· Park Smart: Be mindful of parking only in permitted lots and be sure to pay attention to any “No Parking” signs to avoid citations or fines. Violators are also subject to having their vehicles towed and impounded. Also, be aware of possible road or lane closures due to events to plan your outings with minimal disruptions.
· Don’t Drink and Drive: Designate a driver, use MARTA, take a cab or utilize other modes of transportation.
Citizens are also encouraged to be aware of surroundings, and call 9-1-1 to report any suspicious activity. Remember the Department’s “See Something, Say Something” campaign to encourage vigilance for criminal activity.
New Year’s Eve event listing (partial list)
· Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl parade, Downtown Atlanta (corner of Peachtree and Baker Street), Dec. 31 at 8 a.m.
· Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Game, Ole Miss vs. TCU, Georgia Dome, Dec. 31 at 12:30 p.m.
· Peach Drop 2015, Underground Atlanta, Dec. 31 at 6 p.m. until 12:30 a.m.
· Affordable Old School Fest, Philips Arena, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m.
· Downtown Countdown Atlanta New Year’s Eve, Hyatt Regency Atlanta, Dec. 31 from 8:30 p.m. to 2 a.m.