Making Atlanta Safer
In 2009, I promised to invest in the Atlanta Police Department and achieve the goal of reaching a police force of 2,000 sworn officers during his first term. Already, the city has more than 1,940 sworn officers who protect the citizens of Atlanta. Last year alone, the department welcomed more than 175 new police officers. The City of Atlanta also is proud to have one of the most comprehensive police training programs in the state of Georgia. Today, this investment is paying dividends.
Felony crimes are at the lowest they have been since 1969
The Atlanta Police Department recently conducted a 50-year analysis of crime statistics. Since I took office, major crimes are down 16 percent through December 2012. Last year, the City of Atlanta had 85 homicides – the second lowest in the city since 1962. And overall violent crime is down to levels not seen since 1972.
Fire deaths and property loss are at a historical low
In addition to hiring more firefighters, thanks to a $9.8 million federal grant, Chief Kelvin J. Cochran has eliminated brown-outs due to staffing shortages and made many important improvements to the city’s fire-rescue department resulting in improved response times. As a result, fire deaths and property loss are at a historical low in the City of Atlanta. Atlanta Fire Rescue Special Operations enhancement is another notable accomplishment and includes the implementation of a Swift Water Rescue Team and the establishment of the AFR Dignitary Medic Team and the AFR SWAT Medic Team to better respond to residents in emergency situations.
Community-oriented policing initiatives are responsive to resident’s concerns
Under the leadership of Chief George N. Turner, the Atlanta Police Department launched a Community Oriented Policing Section (COPS) that includes a Community Liaison Unit with 50 sworn officers dedicated solely to proactive, solutions-oriented crime-fighting initiatives. Chief Turner also realigned the police department’s beat structure to reduce response times throughout the city and allow patrol officers time to engage in proactive, community-oriented policing. The department also designated two full-time police officer liaisons to work with the city’s LGBT community.