The current pandemic seems to have spawned some new trends among the criminal set that have impacted Buckhead. Most disturbing for many residents is the street racing and “drifting” that has spread from downtown to become a regular occurrence after dark in Buckhead. Loosely organized groups of muscle car drivers are regularly taking over streets or parking lots to loudly rev their engines and “lay drag”. One can imagine that anyone interested in these sorts of activities are not just into driving fast cars, but are also involved in other criminal pursuits that affect our quality of life. With the social, political, and financial pressures on the Atlanta Police department this year, they have failed to properly control or stop these activities.
Thankfully, we have some wonderful quasi-governmental, community, and neighborhood groups that closely coordinate to keep Buckhead the desirable community it is known to be. The joint press release and private security plan released below represents the dedication and persistence that these groups offer Buckhead. We look forward to seeing the results!
Press Release, December 2, 2020 – Today leaders from 11 business and civic organizations, local government and law enforcement released the Buckhead Security Plan, a blueprint for addressing rising crime in Buckhead. The Buckhead Security Plan includes near-term and longer-term actions to increase the safety and security of people who live in, work in and visit Buckhead for shopping and entertainment.
The Buckhead Security Plan includes strategies to improve crime deterrence and enforcement of existing laws, as well as changes to policies and procedures that will have a positive impact on public safety. Near-term actions include strengthening the Operation Shield camera network by creating a strategic grid of cameras in Buckhead, creating a supplementary security patrol for commercial areas using extra-duty law enforcement officers, and creating a coordinated security patrol of residential areas by engaging the private security units already operating in Buckhead neighborhoods. The Buckhead Community Improvement District, which has funded a dedicated supplemental patrol officer and vehicle for the commercial core since March 2020, today voted to fund one additional patrol officer and vehicle and plans to consider a third officer and vehicle early in 2021.
The Buckhead Security Plan also includes 20 objectives aimed at increasing support for and coordination with entities responsible for items such as enforcement of noise and “party house” ordinances; controlling street racing; identifying license and permit violations; spot checking overcrowding at problematic establishments; and other actions that ensure public safety. It also aims to increase support for hiring, training and retention of APD officers to achieve a full force, and for the establishment of a new training center for APD and Atlanta Fire Rescue Dept.
The collaborative plan taps public and private sector support and is designed to leverage the public sector police activity. Each action area within the plan will be led by one or more of the partnering organizations, which are responsible for cost analysis, management responsibilities, and identifying funding sources.
“We are taking action to reverse recent trends in crime, hold lawbreakers accountable, and restore citizen confidence that Buckhead is safe and secure,” said Jim Durrett, president of Buckhead Coalition and executive director of Buckhead Community Improvement District. “The partners collaborating on this effort understand the urgency of the situation and are committed to responding in ways that meet the needs of this moment and put Buckhead on a solid footing for years to come.”
The Buckhead Security Plan was developed by the Buckhead Coalition, the Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta City Council (J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook), Fulton County Commission (Robb Pitts and Lee Morris), City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office (Jon Keen), Atlanta Police Department, Zone 2, Buckhead Community Improvement District, Livable Buckhead, Buckhead Business Association, Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, and Neighborhood Planning Units A, B, and C.
The full plan is available on the Atlanta Police Foundation website.
The Buckhead Security Plan Fact Sheet
Plan Structure: The Buckhead Security Plan includes near-term and longer-term actions to increase the safety and security among the people who live in Buckhead, people who work in Buckhead, and people who visit Buckhead on business, for shopping, and for entertainment. This plan is divided into two major categories for action: Deterrence & Enforcement and Policy & Procedural Change.
The Deterrence & Enforcement portion of the plan includes five focus areas:
- Operation Shield Expansion (Ownership: Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta Police Department and Livable Buckhead) – Develop a strategic Buckhead grid that includes a concentration of Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) cameras and License Plate Readers (LPRs) to cover all major travel corridors and intersections.
- Crime Stoppers Investment (Ownership: Atlanta Police Foundation, Buckhead Coalition) –Fund and promote a more robust Crime Stoppers Atlanta program to yield more information about crimes and criminals that leads to quicker arrests.
- Dedicated Buckhead Supplemental Security Force (Ownership: Buckhead Coalition, Atlanta Police Foundation, Atlanta Police Department, Livable Buckhead, Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods) – Fund and operate a coordinated security patrol consisting of extra-duty officers from the Atlanta Police Department, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office, the Georgia State Patrol, and private security firms, within the commercial and residential areas of Buckhead.
- Clean Car Campaign (Ownership: Livable Buckhead and Atlanta Police Department) –Examine the existing Clean Car Campaign for effectiveness and modify it as needed to meet the current conditions in Buckhead.
- Technology (Ownership: Atlanta Police Foundation) – Investigate technology to enhance and supplement enforcement efforts, piloting their use in Buckhead for potential use throughout the city.
The Policy & Procedural Change portion of the plan includes 20 objectives aimed at increasing support for and coordination with entities responsible for items such as noise ordinance enforcement; identifying license and permit violations; etc. It also aims to increase support for hiring, training and retention of APD officers to achieve a full force, and for the establishment of a new training center for APD and Atlanta Fire Rescue Dept.
Implementation: Plan implementation will be collaborative, utilizing both private and public sector resources, but with the goal of increasing public sector support and avoiding over-reliance on private sector contributions. After gaining consensus on the elements of the plan, responsible parties will take ownership of further development of each element including analysis of cost, management responsibilities, and funding source(s).
Plan Developed By:
- The Buckhead Coalition
- The Atlanta Police Foundation
- Atlanta City Council (J.P. Matzigkeit and Howard Shook)
- Fulton County Commission (Robb Pitts and Lee Morris)
- City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office (Jon Keen)
- Atlanta Police Department, Zone 2
- The Buckhead Community Improvement District
- Livable Buckhead
- Buckhead Business Association
- Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods
- Neighborhood Planning Units A, B, and C
Frequently asked questions
How can I help?
To be effective, this plan will require that individuals, public and private groups, businesses and organizations work together toward the goal of a safer Buckhead and Atlanta. Contact Garth Peters at the Buckhead Coalition (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in becoming more involved in this effort or would like to donate funds to support.
Call 911 to report any emergencies or crimes in progress. Call Crime Stoppers ( 404-577-TIPS ) to report anonymous details about criminal behavior that you have knowledge of.
Yes, many of the partner organizations driving this plan are nonprofit organizations. Contact Garth Peters (email@example.com) at the Buckhead Coalition if you are interested in making a monetary donation to this effort.
No, but as is the case in many major US cities, criminality is increasing. As of December 2020, overall city-wide crime rates are down approximately 17% when compared to 2019. With that being said, certain crime categories have increased and that is why this plan has become necessary.
No. Other neighborhoods and areas of the city are developing or have already developed strategic security plans. Buckhead’s plan seeks to complement those by strategically providing resources where they are needed.