DECEMBER 12, 2000                                                                 202/307-0703




WASHINGTON, DC – As part of the Justice Department’s effort to reduce crime and revitalize neighborhoods, Atlanta today received a state-of-the-art mobile police station.  The Mobile Community Outreach Police Station (MCOPS) initiative is a component of the Justice Department’s Weed and Seed initiative.

The MCOPS mobile station was unveiled today at a ceremony attended by Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, Atlanta Chief of Police Beverly Harvard, and Director of the Justice Department’s Executive Office for Weed and Seed (EOWS) Stephen Rickman. “This mobile police station will do more than improve law enforcement, it will become an important part of the Weed and Seed community,” said Director Rickman.

The mobile station will expand Atlanta’s community policing and neighborhood revitalization program.  It will also allow for special law enforcement deployment operations and make it easier for officers to participate in community meetings and forums, which will help reinforce the bond between the local citizens and the police officers who use the station as their home base.  In addition, the station can be used to provide social services such as child immunization, blood pressure screening, childcare screening and as a place for battered women to initially seek help. 

The station, which was custom built for the Justice Department, features a full communications area, including radios and fax machine and an interfaced phone system. It also includes two full workstations, a conference room, and an outdoor awning and set-up for community events. 

Atlanta is the first of three sites to receive mobile stations from the Executive Office of Weed and Seed during the second phase of the MCOPS initiative. Kansas City, Missouri and

Houston, Texas will receive the other two mobile stations in 2001.  During the first phase, six Weed and Seed sites received the mobile stations: Indianapolis, IN; Oakland, CA; Fort Myers, FL; New Orleans, LA; Norwalk, CT; and Washington, DC.

Operation Weed and Seed is a multi-agency strategy that “weeds out” violent crime, gang activity, drug use, and drug trafficking in targeted neighborhoods and then “seeds” the target area by restoring these neighborhoods through social and economic revitalization.  The Weed and Seed strategy recognizes the importance of linking and integrating federal, state and local law enforcement and criminal justice efforts with social services, and private sector and community efforts to maximize the impact of existing programs and resources.  Community involvement is an essential element of the strategy: local residents must be empowered to assist in solving problems in their neighborhoods.          

Atlanta has been a Weed and Seed site since 1992.  The Weed and Seed target area includes Thomasville Heights and Capitol Homes; their immediate surrounding areas; and a third community, Mechanicsville.

To learn more about the Weed and Seed strategy and other Weed and Seed programs and conferences, visit the EOWS Website at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/eows. 

Information regarding other OJP bureaus and program offices is available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov.  Media should contact OJP’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs at 202/307-0703.




After hours contact: David Hess, 888/763-8943 (pager)