MARTA Police offering free self-defense classes

Bita Honarvar bhonarvar@ajc.com

A woman waits at a MARTA bus stop. Bita Honarvar bhonarvar@ajc.com

MARTA Police will be offering free self-defense classes as part of a sexual assault awareness campaign to help customers remain safe on the transit system.

#BlowtheWhistle is “another layer of customer service we’re providing to let the people who ride MARTA know that we care about their safety,” said Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham.

MARTA has one of the lowest crime rates for similarly sized transit systems in the nation, however several recent sexual assaults on MARTA property and across metro Atlanta have prompted concern. In response, officers have distributed more than 1,000 flyers with safety tips and whistles that customers can use to call for help in an emergency.

Transit customers who prefer not to walk home alone can contact a MARTA Police Officer and be accompanied to their destination within a five-mile radius of any rail station.

Customers also can be immediately connected to police dispatchers by using the “See & Say” app, or by using the white or blue courtesy phones located in rail stations.

The first self-defense class will be held Saturday, Oct. 24 from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Decatur Recreation Center (Multi-Purpose Room) at 231 Sycamore St. in Decatur. Other classes will be scheduled before the end of the year in the city of Atlanta and Clayton and Fulton counties.

Follow and interact with fellow customers on Facebook and Twitter using #BlowtheWhistle, #MARTACares and #EnoughisEnough.

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