Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is flanked by City of Atlanta and Fulton County officials at the launch of the Repeat Offender Tracking Unit. (Courtesy City of Atlanta)

The City of Atlanta and Fulton County officially announced the launch of its Repeat Offender Tracking Unit at a press conference on Tuesday.

The unit will include members of the Atlanta Police Department, Fulton County Sheriff’s Department, and Fulton County District Attorney’s Office.

The unit, which will be based on Mitchell Street in Downtown, will share information between law enforcement, prosectors, and judges in the hopes of keeping repeat offenders behind bars.

“We are now specifically tracking repeat offenders from the time of arrest,” said Fulton District Attorney Fani Willis. “We are literally giving them a scarlet letter so the prosecutors and investigators who touch these files know that this is a case where we need to pay more attention and make sure justice is actually served.”

Mayor Andre Dickens said that 30% of arrests made by the APD each week are repeat offenders who have already been convicted of at least three felonies.

The mayor also noted that 1,000 people are committing an estimated 40% of the city’s crime, and the new unit is “designed to get these serial, repeat offenders off the city’s streets.”

Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant called the repeat offender situation a “significant problem” said in the past month, officer have charged 75 people who have more than 1,800 combined arrests.

Administrative staff for the unit is being funded by the Atlanta Police Foundation, while Central Atlanta Progress, Midtown Alliance and Buckhead Coalition are picking up the tab for the office lease, furniture and technology.

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.