The plan, officials said, is to blanket known drug and high-crime areas with police officers, known as Operation Street Safe.
“We’re targeting specific areas for saturated patrol,” Captain Kenny Dodd said of the operation.
Captain Ray Sullivan added, “Our overall goal is to eradicate the narcotic activity being observed on the streets. We want to send the message to the drug dealers that we’re coming and the community will not tolerate it anymore.”
The public is urged to call police to add any Polk neighborhoods to the sweep list. “If you have an area with suspicious activity, call us,” said Police Chief Billy Wills. “If you feel you have an area that should be saturated, call and we’ll take it into consideration.”
Beginning on Wednesday, July 16, the department implemented Operation Street Safe in the west area of Rockmart. Using 16 officers, the areas of Morgan Valley Rd., Second St., Dever St., Springdale St. and Cashtown Loop were covered in police for approximately four hours.
While the operation resulted in two arrests on traffic charges, police said the known drug violators fled the area during the time.
“We hit this area due to the recent shootings and illegal drugs over the past few weeks,” Sullivan said. “We were looking for people who didn’t live in the area and were frequently involved in illegal activity.”
Dodd said some of the patrolmen went to the residents themselves to inform them of the operation. “They went door-to-door, explaining why we were there,” he said. “We wanted to make contact with the good people over there. Most of them were happy we were doing it.”
“We’ll being doing this at random times of our choosing throughout the year,” Sullivan said. “We may do it again in a week or a month – we don’t know. They’ll be totally random.”
Citizens can add their streets for consideration in Operation: Street Safe by calling the Polk PD at 770-748-7331.
Police stress that all callers can remain anonymous at their request.