Officials warn people not to visit Piedmont Park alone at night until killer is caught

ATLANTA — Authorities from the Fulton County Sheriff’s office, the Fulton County DA’s office and the U.S. Attorney’s Office all banded together Thursday afternoon to show that they are working together to help Atlanta police catch the person who stabbed and killed a woman in Piedmont Park.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said she thought it was important for everyone to come together and show that all agencies are united in finding this killer.

“We know that this is an important crime and that the public is watching and waiting,” Willis said. “It is not a crime that is going unnoticed. It is a crime that we are collectively putting our resources in and working together to solve.”

Throughout the news conference, Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat talked about how his office has stepped up patrols not only near the park, but across the county to help combat violent crime as part of the new Scorpion Unit he has formed.

“That is one of our key partnerships with APD and with other jurisdictions across the country,” Labat said.

Labat said his office’s goal is to put 200 additional deputies on the street.

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He also talked about the “think twice, save a life” initiative to get people to stop and think before pulling the trigger.

Labat said the point of these new initiatives is to make sure people are safe where they work, live and play.

“We’re working in partnership to put a stop to this myth where Fulton County is a place to go commit crime,” Labat said. “You have been warned. Stay out of Fulton County.”

Labat said he meets regularly with police chiefs across Fulton County and works in coordination with those departments to help combat crime before it starts.

Some of the new patrols added to the county streets have been patrolling Piedmont Park since the stabbing of Katie Janness.

“Those cars have helped to enable to make sure that there is more security and safety not just around Piedmont Park, but all of our parks,” Willis said.

The district attorney said as law enforcement agencies across the metro work to find the killer, she wants people to be smart if they are going to the park and to travel in groups.

“I love Piedmont Park as well, but we’re asking that you go with three or four friends while you’re there and that you’re not alone at night,” Willis said.

Labat said, so far, the stepped-up patrols have landed 15 felony arrests, 13 misdemeanor arrests and helped locate 13 wanted people. He also said the patrols have resulted in nearly 250 citations.

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