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Atlanta crime plan unveiled during heated town hall talk | News

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Atlanta crime plan unveiled during heated town hall talk
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ATLANTA -- Emotions ran high and hot at a crime meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Tuesday night.

One man accused the mayor of talking politics when the bottom line is that people are afraid of getting killed in their own driveway.

Reed held the meeting to release a plan for reducing crime across every neighborhood in Atlanta. However. a recent surge of crime reported in Midtown has put a spotlight there.

 

Starting Wednesday, officers working desk jobs will pick up shifts on the street to increase visibility. Roll call will be done in public and stream online so officers will be seen by more people.

The city's holiday schedule that increases staffing will begin three weeks early on November 1.

Reed has approached Fulton County Superior Court, pitching a partnership that would give municipal judges the power to handle tougher cases and house repeat offenders in the city jail in the event that the Fulton County Jail lacks the capacity to accommodate the increase in the number of people arrested.

Communication was a central issue. One resident explained that he learned his neighbor was attacked, with gun pointed at her head. He found out from Facebook, and believes the Atlanta Police Department should have warned him.

Reed listened to the concerns and collected phone numbers from many of those with issues. He offered to personally visit streets where help is needed or where a resident feels unheard. He's optimistic the city's force of 1931 officers will have an impact on crime.

"What we have done is to build the biggest police force that we have ever had," Reed said.

Not every one was convinced.

"I didn't hear solutions from Kasim Reed. What I heard is the same approach that has been used and has failed us," said Dean Steed.

"Anybody who says more police don't matter doesn't know what they're talking about," Reed argued.

At least one problem seems to have been solved from the town hall. Christopher Scott spoke out about dark streets, and he says he got an answer on the spot.

"He's offered assistance for the lighting and stuff," Scott said. I had been to the other meetings, everybody has to get involved."


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