The homeless population at the Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) has nearly tripled since the start of winter, said Fox 5.
Atlanta police officers working at the world’s busiest airport have sounded the alarm about the deteriorating conditions for travelers caused by the increasing homeless population.
While the homeless cannot pass through the security checkpoint without a passport or plane ticket, that has not deterred them from setting up camp across the North and South terminals as well as the connecting Atrium.
Fox 5 has reported on the homeless issue for quite some time at ATL. Their reporting indicates that this is not a new problem, but recently, the explosion of the homeless population has now jeopardized the health and safety of travelers’.
Police officers have told Fox 5 that squatters are using airport floors as their own personal bathroom. The poor hygiene of squatters coupled with open sores is a dangerous cocktail for the spread of disease and deadly infections. In one report, a naked man was defecating in the airport lounge and then decided to take a nap on the airport furniture. In fact, the homeless have turned the airport into a public health issue that is being ignored by city officials.
Fox 5 says the increasing homeless population at ATL, has to do with the change of policy by the city of Atlanta law department, who has instructed officers at the airport not to conduct daily sweeps. In return, the officers cannot enforce basic trespass laws, which is the cause of the increasing homeless population.
Security alert renews concerns over airport homeless population – FOX 5 Atlanta: FOX 5 Atlanta Security alert renews concerns over airport homeless population FOX 5 Atlanta ATLANTA – A security checkpoint at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson… t.co/6B2l1cXbgp #Atlanta pic.twitter.com/wr7dCdcLuM
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There are many questions as to why the police department has recently changed its policy on daily sweeps, which has relaxed the rules on trespassing and allowed the homeless to migrate from city streets to the airport for shelter. Perhaps, it is due to the brutally cold weather this winter, or maybe, there is something else…
As of recent, GBH Insights’ Daniel Ives predicts Atlanta to be one of the five cities out of the new list of 20 candidates to be in the running for Amazon’s second headquarters project, said CNBC. “We believe the top 5 likely cities for Amazon’s second headquarters/HQ2 in order will be: 1. Atlanta, 2. Raleigh, 3. Washington D.C., 4. Boston, and 5. Austin (only non-East Coast city in our Top 5),” Ives wrote in a note to clients Sunday.
While Amazon narrows the list to just 20 locations for its second headquarters, all of the cities in the running have to be on their best behavior. And of course in Atlanta’s case, changing its policies on trespassing and allowing the homeless to set up shop in the airport is a perfect way manipulate the image of the city.