DA Fani Willis Boasts Fulton County Safer than Four Years Ago Despite Increasing Crime Statistics

Fani Willis

A new campaign ad for District Attorney Fani Willis says that Fulton County is safer now than it was four years ago. However, year-end data from the Atlanta Police Department shows that crime rates have increased in southwest Atlanta and that car theft continues to skyrocket. Willis released the campaign ad on Monday, a week ago.

In a post on X, the campaign ad for Willis, currently running for re-election, states, “The last four years, we’ve made Fulton County safer for everyone – and we’re just getting started.”

District Attorney Willis took office in 2021. Yet the Atlanta Police Department’s (APD) most recently published year-end data for 2023 shows increased crime in certain areas based on six neighborhood zones patrolled by law enforcement.

In Southwest Atlanta (Zone 4), which includes neighborhoods such as Cascade, Venetian Hills, and West End, the crime report shows that homicide increased by 15 percent, robbery increased by 8 percent, burglary, including breaking and entering, rose by 21 percent, theft from motor vehicles increased by 8 percent, and shoplifting grew by 70 percent compared to 2022.

APD’s crime report also indicates that motor vehicle theft soared 61 percent citywide.

In Southwest Atlanta, motor vehicle theft increased by 124 percent, with 1,108 reported incidents in 2023 compared to 494 in 2022.

Northwest Atlanta (Zone 1), including Ashview Heights, the Atlanta University Center, and West Lake, saw motor vehicle theft increase 47 percent between 2022 and 2023.

Motor vehicle theft rose 88 percent in Southeast Atlanta (Zone 3) neighborhoods such as Adair Park, Capitol View, and Sylvan Hills, with 1,024 incidents in 2023 compared to 546 the previous year.

APD year-end data for East Atlanta (Zone 6) areas, such as Boulevard Heights, Cabbagetown, and Grant Park, shows that motor vehicle theft in Zone 6 grew 107 percent, with 1,073 incidents reported compared to 519 the year before.

In 2023, Buckhead (Zone 2) sought to secede from the city due to high levels of violent crime and residents feeling they lacked protection.

To address the problem, improve incident response time, and increase the presence of law enforcement in North Atlanta, lawmakers funded a state patrol post to provide coordinated support to APD serving the Buckhead community.

While there were some reductions in violent crime in 2023, Atlanta Police Department Chief Darin Schierbaum attributed the drop to hiring more police officers and fewer retirees and resignations.

Additionally, in 2022, a spike in Atlanta’s crime became a campaign issue for Lt. Governor Burt Jones, who ran on a platform to fund the police and maintain law and order.

As previously reported in The Georgia Star News, the first non-gas QuikTrip store on Peachtree Street in Midtown Atlanta announced in early May that it planned to close the location “partially due to concerns about the safety of customers and employees.”

According to the Democratic composite sample ballot for Fulton County, incumbent Fani Willis faces a challenge from attorney Christian Wise Smith in the upcoming primary election on May 21.

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Debra McClure is a reporter at The Georgia Star News and The Star News Network. Follow Debra on X / Twitter.
Photo “Fani Willis Ad” by Fani Willis. 





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