Mayor Andre Dickens at the March 15 crime press conference. (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

Mayor Andre Dickens said during a morning briefing on crime that Atlanta Police have made arrests in 72% of this year’s 33 homicide cases.

The mayor also had a message for would-be criminals: “If you think you want to commit a crime in this city, you might want to think again. We have our eyes on you and you will be caught.”

Dickens said APD’s helicopter unit has been able track down car thieves quickly and “significant arrests” were made on those cases. He also encouraged businesses to connect their security cameras to APD’s system for faster response.

The mayor said the city is working with Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis and Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat, who are in the process of setting up a repeat offenders unit to stop serial criminals.

A new “Court Watch” program will be online soon where residents can view cases making their way through the judicial process.

APD Chief Rodney Bryant addresses the media at the March 15 crime briefing. (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

APD Chief Rodney Bryant said in the past week alone, his officers has arrested more than 20 repeat offenders. Those taken into custody had a combined total of 553 previous arrests, 114 of which were felonies.

Seven of those arrested were out on bond with five of them in illegal possession of guns. Three of those five were out on bond again before the officers could could complete their reports, according to Bryant.

“That gives you an idea of what we are facing in just one week in the city of Atlanta,” he said.

Bryant noted that the suspect arrested in homicide of 60-year-old Thomas Arnold on the Atlanta BeltLine last month was a repeat offender.

The chief said APD is cracking down on street gangs, noting that gang activity accounts for 70% of the city’s crime. “They are on notice that their activity will not be tolerated in Atlanta,” he said.

Turning to street racing, Dickens said the issue was “plaguing our entire metropolitan area.”

“We’re not going to tolerate it,” the mayor said, noting the damage to the rainbow crosswalks in Midtown earlier this month. Metal plates have been installed at the intersection of 10th and Piedmont to prevent street racers from doing donuts.

Dickens said two new classes of APD recruits are in training right now, and a recruiting event is planned for this weekend at Lenox Square.

Bryant said he had presented his spring and summer enforcement plan to the mayor. Patrols in city parks and along the Atlanta BeltLine will be a priority, and the chief said expect to see more mounted patrols watching over these popular spots.

Bryant said he was also in discussion with the city to bring in more reserve officers and retired officers to help patrol parks and the BeltLine.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.