Atlanta Mayor To Create Office Charged With Reducing Crime

Contributed By Scott Lipscomb

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced on July 16th the creation of the Office of Violence Reduction in an effort to further combat the city’s spiking crime rate.

The creation of the new office was one of the recommendations submitted by the Mayor’s Anti-Violence Advisory Council comprised of community and business stakeholders that began to convene this past May to review Atlanta’s plans to combat violent crime. The Mayor’s working group also advised Bottoms to pursue $70 million investment to jumpstart their recommendations. Those plans include the hiring of 250 more police officers; expansions to the city’s camera network and license plate reader systems; and the addition of 10,000 more streetlights in the city by December 31, 2022. “The funds will be transferred from other departments to provide $50 million in public funding. The remaining $20 million will be generated by philanthropic and non-profit partners,” stated Bottoms.

As cited in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city of Atlanta along with 14 other U.S. cities and counties were selected last month to work with the White House over the next 18 months to address the national rise in homicides.

“Because our state was open, and there were many people coming into our city, we were starting to see an uptick in crime before many other major cities, and unfortunately what we saw was just not something happening in Atlanta,” said Bottoms.

Newly appointed Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant asserted, the homicide rate is currently up by less than 25 percent and that the new public safety plans “are actually putting a dent in violent crime.”