Cobb County

Cobb leaders plan to improve safety after fights, nearby shootings at Six Flags

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Fights and violence, even a police shooting, are continuing around Six Flags. The city and county are discussing improving safety after the violence on opening day.

Channel 2′s Cobb County Bureau Chief Michele Newell was in Mableton where this is something parents want solved.

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“The week after the incident I know public safety had at least five to six meetings pertaining to that night so we could critique that night and prepare for the next weekend,” Cobb County Public Safety Director Mike Register said.

Inside the Riverside EpiCenter was a response to the violence that unfolded inside Six Flags Over Georgia and near the park on opening day.

“This is just another step as we refine our process. We’ve already given recommendations to Six Flags. Six flags have given recommendations to us,” Cobb County Chief Stuart VanHoozer said.

“There were a lot of recommendations made today. We are very encouraged about the partnership that we have here,” Cobb County Commissioner Monique Sheffield said.

A public safety meeting closed to the public, was held before this news conference.


Mayor Michael Owens of Mableton organized what he says is the first of many public safety meetings that will focus on long-term solutions to violence seen at Six Flags and nearby.

No representatives from Six Flags participated in the news conference. But, Owens says the general manager was at the meeting.

“Six Flags is on board and they were receptive to many of the things that (were) suggested,” Owens said.

Some of what Owens says he discussed with law enforcement, fire officials and dozens of leaders in Cobb County includes crowd control, lighting near the park, more signage, and a chaperone policy in and outside of the park.

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“In this region, we have dropped crime over the last ten years plus and it’s a substantial drop here just from basic community policing,” VanHoozer said.

Owens says there is no timeline for seeing some of those recommendations turn into actual plans because changes can’t happen overnight.

VanHoozer made it a point to acknowledge security measures that he says his team has already taken. He says the key is to refine what’s already being done.


Michele Newell

Michele Newell, WSB-TV

Michele Newell has been part of the WSB-TV family since November 2021. Before moving to Atlanta, Michele worked at TV news stations in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Columbus, Ohio and Steubenville, Ohio.

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