Law enforcement agencies join forces to keep thousands safe during Fourth

As Wednesday’s Fourth of July events begin across the city, law enforcement agencies from across metro Atlanta are working together to keep their eyes on thousands of spectators.

The Atlanta Police Department, the FBI, MARTA, Watershed and basically any public local, state or federal agency with a stake in logistics and safety are housed in a room at the Atlanta police headquarters for the holiday.

It opened at 4 a.m. Wednesday and is the hub for much of the electronic surveillance that’s going on during large-scale events.

"If anything happens, we can instantaneously communicate with each other," said Deputy Chief Scott Kreher, with Atlanta Police Department. "As you can see, in the past several years, we've really had to step up our game, not just on the ground, but in the air."

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Channel 2's Nicole Carr learned how first responders coordinated efforts during the Peachtree Road Race on Wednesday morning, as the code red alert went into effect, warning of dangerous heat.

“We've had over 200 contacts with our EMS support staff. Of that, only six were transported to area hospitals, but they're all in stable condition. They were just all heat-related incidents,” Kreher said.

There's a focus on transit for the remainder of the day, as law enforcement agencies look to monitor large crowds on and around public transportation. 

MARTA monitors 15,000 of its own cameras across rail, bus and hub properties, tapping into surveillance they share with the City of Atlanta and Homeland Security.

"We not only have the capability of seeing and reacting to it, but we have the capability of sensing it or sensing disturbances before it happens," MARTA police Maj. Aston Greene said.

Kreher says despite all their surveillance, they still rely on the public to stay alert and notify them of anything suspicious.

"The best surveillance we have are our public," he said.

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