Reed: Atlanta major crime at lowest levels in 50 years

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ATLANTA - Major crime levels in the city of Atlanta have fallen to the lowest levels in a half-century, according to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Reed and Police Chief George Turner saluted Atlanta’s nearly 2,000 officers at the annual “Crime is Toast” breakfast Tuesday.

Reed said the city is just 20 officers short of reaching its goal of 2,000.

“When the other cities were furloughing and laying other police officers off, we actually decided to double down on public safety and we’ve hired 800 of them,” Reed said.

The mayor said help from community and businesses partners and new technology contributed to the drop in crime.

“Major crimes in the city of Atlanta are down 17 percent. In fact, we've not seen crimes this low since Lyndon Baines Johnson was president of the United States,” Reed said.

Reed also pointed to thousands of cameras monitoring the city and an innovative computer program that can actually predict where crime will most likely happen.

"We are making such strides. If you look at the vehicles, they're smarter. The technology that's inside of our vehicle, our officers are so engaged," Turner said.

The event included a tribute to men and women on the force who were injured or killed in the line of duty.

Four received Purple Hearts, including two who survived serious injuries.

The audience listened in silence as the last radio call and bagpipes honored officers Shawn Smiley and Richard Halford, who died in a helicopter crash in November.