Due to rising crime rates, the city of Atlanta is advertising for a director of violence reduction.
Crime has increased so much that residents of nearby Buckhead formally want to secede from Atlanta. Buckhead is a residential district of the larger city. The man leading that secession movement told The Georgia Star News Wednesday that the new director of violence reduction, regardless of who takes the job, won’t influence Buckhead residents to have second thoughts about leaving.
“[Atlanta Mayor] Keisha Bottoms setting the police free to do their jobs and taking the handcuffs off of our police and allowing them to go and arrest shoplifters and carjackers and street-racers and the like in Buckhead would be the only way. Even that said, this is a particular position which honestly I don’t think will have any effect on reducing crime,” said Bill White, CEO and chair of the Buckhead City Committee.
According to one ad, city of Atlanta officials blame the COVID-19 pandemic for the alarming rise in local crime, especially homicides.
“The position requires a candidate with community credibility, political tack, and professional integrity,” according to the ad.
The director of violence reduction will actively pursue state and federal grants to support prevention and intervention policies. He or she must have at least five years of professional experience in nonprofit, public health, or administrative or analytical experience in municipal government, the ad said.
White told The Star News on Wednesday that Buckhead residents, once they divorce themselves from the City of Atlanta, will address crime their own way, “from the top down.”
“We are going to have a mayor that will allow our police to do their job,” White said.
“We will have a massive police force in Buckhead City that we most certainly can afford. We are going to let them arrest shoplifters, chase carjackers, and remove these homeless encampments throughout Buckhead. That’s the way you reduce crime. Not by any of this hocus pocus stuff.”
Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) last month proposed spending $3 million in additional state law enforcement resources to fight Atlanta’s worsening crime problem.
Ralston said state legislators will consider his proposals during the 2022 legislative sessions appropriations process.
Atlanta made national headlines this year after FOX News host Tucker Carlson described, in sometimes graphic terms, how crime rates in Buckhead have soared. Carlson also said certain of Atlanta’s politicians incited that violence.
Carlson said Atlanta leaders have made too many inflammatory remarks about Buckhead, which is wealthy. He said district residents have endured that abuse in silence. Buckhead residents account for a fifth of Atlanta’s entire budget, he said. Carlson said Buckhead residents shouldn’t have to “send huge sums of money to a city that hates them.” He blamed Bottoms for motivating hundreds of Atlanta Police Department officers to exit the force.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Bill White” by Buckhead City. Background Photo “Buckhead Skyline” by Mike Gonzalez. CC BY-SA 3.0.