Standing room only at public safety town hall meeting

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Councilmember Natalyn Archibong and Police Chief George Turner hosted a public safety town hall meeting last night, Aug. 5, that attracted a standing room only crowd of nearly 200 people to Drew Charter School. The meeting was the first in a series of town hall meetings scheduled for southeast and southwest Atlanta during August to address ongoing crime problems in the city.

The crowd heard about the steps the city has taken to combat the recent uptick in crime in Zone 6 including an increase in patrols, officers working on foot and on bicycle, increased intelligence used to make arrests, and the use of discretionary units such as the department’s Community Oriented Policing Section to conduct proactive police measures. Reed said major crimes had gone down since 2009, but there were still problems to be addressed.

Chief Turner reported that officers have made a number of significant arrests in Zone 6, including many repeat offenders who have been arrested multiple times, for crimes including armed robbery, burglary and car break-ins.

“We will continue to use every resource at our disposal to fight crime in the city,” Turner said. “We’re grateful for the support Mayor Reed has provided the department, allowing us to increase our visibility, improve our technology and sharpen our tactics. The APD will also continue to encourage and foster our partnerships with our communities and other law enforcement agencies so we can exponentially multiply our eyes and ears on the streets, as well as our capabilities.”

More than 800 officers have been added to the police force since 2009 in the effort to grow the Atlanta Police Department to its greatest strength in history: 2,000 officers. Mayor Reed stated that he expects to hit that mark this year.

The next two meeting in the series are scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 10,from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Ormewood Park Presbyterian Church, 1071 Delaware Ave., and Tuesday, Aug. 20, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Adamsville Recreation Center, 3201 Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Additional meetings will be scheduled in the fall for the central and northern sections of the city.

Our affiliate CBS Atlanta contributed to this report.

1 Comment
  1. I wasn’t at the meeting, but I wonder if APD has considered using counterinsurgency tactics as featured in a 60 Minutes segment the other night. Cops in Springfield, Mass. put an emphasis on winning the hearts and minds of the local community rather than on heavy handed tactics to take back gang-controlled neighborhoods.

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