The security patrol car jointly operated by the Atlanta Police Department and the Buckhead Community Improvement District. (File)

The Buckhead Public Safety Task Force released a report on May 27 that includes recommendations on how to address crime in the north Atlanta community, such as expanding off-duty security patrols beyond the commercial core, lobbying for the Atlanta City Jail to reduce overcrowding at Fulton County, and strengthening regulations to shut down “bad actors” such as nightclubs permitted as restaurants. 

The task force was approved by the City Council in January after legislation was introduced by Councilmembers Mary Norwood and Michael Julian Bond. The task force’s purpose was to “respond to growing outrage and community concern over increasing crime, violence, and lawlessness in the Buckhead area,” the 21-page report says. Read the full report here. 

The task force included 22 members that held six meetings over 90 days. Presenters at meetings included representatives from the Atlanta Police Department, the Buckhead Community Improvement District, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, Fulton Sheriff Patrick Labat, and Fulton judges. 

The report details presentations made by the various panelists. More recommendations include: sponsor legislation to strengthen gang laws; procure software and technology that streamlines gang information; offer classes and diversion programs to keep young people from joining gangs; beef up APD recruitment and hiring efforts and have more officers patrol Buckhead’s commercial areas as well as residential neighborhoods; and coordinate APD crime fighting strategies in Buckhead.

“The collaboration from law enforcement on the task force at every level: state, county, and city, was extraordinary,” Norwood said in a written statement. 

Buckhead, like the rest of the city, saw a rise in crime over the past two years. The numbers led the BCID to expand its own private security plan. It was also the primary reason an organized movement was created to de-annex Buckhead from Atlanta.

Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.