Jacquel Clemons Moore. (City of Atlanta)

The city of Atlanta has hired its first violence reduction director, a key initiative of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ $70 million plan to combat crime.

Jacquel Clemons Moore is serving as director of the newly-created Mayor’s Office of Violence Reduction. She started Dec. 1.

The Office of Violence Reduction is tasked with developing strategic plans and coordinating programs to reduce and prevent violence.

“Combating violence is a deeply personal issue for me, as it is for so many people across our great city,” Moore said in an announcement. “I look forward to working hand-in-hand with our communities and stakeholders to implement evidence-informed, community driven solutions to reduce interpersonal violence.”

A graduate of Clark Atlanta University, Moore most recently served as interim executive director of Kings Against Violence Initiative Inc. in Brooklyn, New York. In that role, she developed and led the organization’s public health strategies that addressed violence and trauma, according to a press release. She has also worked in the field of HIV and AIDS prevention and care. She earned her master’s degree in public health from New York University.

The city of Atlanta also says it will expand violence prevention programs using $5 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds. It will use the Cure Violence program model, which uses methods “proven to decrease shootings in site areas by up to 73%,” says the city of Atlanta.

The violence prevention programs are planned for the Westside (Bankhead, Vine City and Washington Park) and Southwest Atlanta (Oakland City, Campbellton Road and Venetian Hills). The city has issued an RFP seeking the services of nonprofits to administer the Cure Violence program model.

All Atlanta City Council members, including Mayor-elect Andre Dickens, had voted in favor of creating the Office of Violence Reduction, according to council records.

Crime has been a constant topic this year. It’s also a key issue behind the effort for Buckhead to break off from Atlanta and form its own city.

As of Dec. 4, homicides in Atlanta are up 5% from last year, with 149 so far in 2021. That’s according to the latest stats from the Atlanta Police Department.

Amy Wenk

Amy Wenk is Editor of Reporter Newspapers. She can be reached at editor@reporternewspapers.net