Mayor Reed to take on cycle of crime, quality of life issues in next term

by: Dave Huddleston Updated:


ATLANTA - Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed says he is tired of his police officers arresting criminals, who then end up right back on the street.

Channel 2's Dave Huddleston sat down with the frustrated mayor ahead of his second inauguration.

Reed was candid about what he plans to do to reduce the cycle of crime in Atlanta.

"Over an eight-year period of time, I would've have seen thousands of acts of violence. That's why I've invested more in public safety in the worst economy in 80 years than any person to ever hold this office," Reed told Huddleston.

Reed said crime is the lowest it's been in 30 to 40 years, down 18 percent. But with recent random murders in Atlanta, the perception is the city is out of control.

In addition to that, a frustrated Reed said the police force is doing their job.

"When somebody gets harmed and we go arrest the people and we've arrested them two or three times before, and they were released, what do you want me to say? See you aren't the one that has to call and talk to the family, I am. You're not the one who goes to the funeral, I do," Reed said.

Reed said reducing the number of repeat offenders in the criminal justice system is one of the issues he will talk about in his inauguration speech on Monday, with or without the help of other agencies.

"Everyone of us wants to feel safe when we lock that door. It is a global responsibility. Fulton County collects just as much tax from you as the city of Atlanta does, and I'd ask what does it do for you?" Reed said.

Reed said he will also talk about job training to help reduce crime.

"It reduces the chances that those criminals recidivate, that they and commit new crimes because they were shut out and couldn't get an opportunity."

In addition to crime, reed said, during his second term he wants to spend $900 million to improve the city's roads, bridges and sidewalks, as well as small details that can erode quality of life.

"I hear folks complain about a manhole cover on the sidewalk, cover that wasn't there they stepped in and they hurt their ankle, those are the things from a city perspective that people feel about," Reed said.

Reed said he would have handled the transportation referendum differently. Reed said the vote should have been moved to November instead of voting in July. Reed said that referendum has to be revisited.