Mayor Andre Dickens and Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant hosted a press conference this morning to announce 57 “significant arrests” in a variety of cases, including 12 homicides.

The arrests were made during the period of March 12 to April 7, according to Bryant, and were made in collaboration with law enforcement agencies across metro Atlanta.

Along with the 12 murder suspects arrested, APD also apprehended suspects in 31 aggravated assault cases, five armed robberies, four for cruelty to children, two for aggravated battery, one for child molestation, one for vehicular homicide, and one theft by receiving of a stolen vehicle.

A graphic released by APD showing the 12 homicide suspects arrested during the sweep.

Bryant also noted that many of the suspects arrested were repeat offenders. “Collectively, these suspects have been arrested more than 365 times,” he said.

APD Homicide Unit Commander Lt. Ralph Woolfolk said homicides were up 40% this year, with the majority of those attributed to “escalating disputes” between individuals. He said 88% of the homicides were committed with handguns.

One high-profile homicide case that lingers from last year is that of Katherine “Katie” Janness, who was brutally stabbed to death along with her dog in Piedmont Park on July 28.

“What I can tell you about the Piedmont Park case is that it’s still as open as it was day one,” Bryant said. “We are still getting in information and still going through a lot of evidence.”

Mayor Dickens thanked the officers for their hard work and proclaimed them the “best police force in the nation.”

He noted that the Repeat Offenders Tracking Unit was now operational and an announcement would be made soon about a Court Watch program that would allow residents to track criminal cases through the court system.

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.