Atlanta cracks down on ‘water boys’

In response to increasingly violent activity from teens known as ‘water boys’ or ‘bottle boys’ on Atlanta’s streets, the city is directing the police department to crack down on the group’s activities.

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a continuous effort in partnership with the Atlanta Police Department and local community advocacy groups to curb the recent increase in water sales on Atlanta streets.

According to the mayor’s office, water sales and purchases have put the safety of both youth and motorists at risk. The police department is dedicating an increased response to areas of heightened concern and will not allow dangerous activity of any kind – including running out in the street.

“We appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit of youth who are selling water to motorists,” said Bottoms. “But we have seen an increase in unsafe and violent activity in some locations and cannot allow it to continue. It’s going to take a village and we are working with our partners to provide outreach and resources to these young people to help them gain access to job opportunities, workforce training, and educational programs.”

The Atlanta Police Department, community advocates and support groups are engaging youth who are selling water on Atlanta streets to direct them to safer and more beneficial opportunities.

Earlier this month, Bottoms issued an Administrative Order to convene an Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to develop strategies to help promote youth entrepreneurship within the city of Atlanta.

The order directs the city’s chief operating officer to convene an Advisory Council comprised of public agencies, residents, businesses, non-profits, philanthropy, faith-based organizations, and educational institutions that will:

  1. Recommend strategies for the development of fueling the entrepreneurial spirit of young people throughout the city;
  2. Support the entrepreneurial goals of young water vendors in Atlanta.

The Advisory Council will report its recommendations to Bottoms on July 31.

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