Atlanta police chief gives details on what he is doing to increase police presence in Buckhead

ATLANTA — Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant says the department is beginning to build up officers in parts of Buckhead, initially targeting traffic control and accidents to free up others for crime control.

The chief told Channel 2′s investigative reporter Richard Belcher only two officers will be assigned right away. He wants as many as two dozen more officers in Buckhead by the end of next year.

Bryant acknowledges crime in Buckhead is a problem.

“We recognize that we’re seeing an increase in crime over from the beginning of this year, even to this day,” said Bryant.

Atlanta Police Department figures show that overall serious crime in Zone 2, the Buckhead area, is up 12% over last year.

Larcenies from cars are up 20%. Aggravated assaults are up 41%. Shooting incidents are up 59%.

Bryant said new officers will focus on traffic enforcement because officers in that area now spend about 40% of their time on traffic.

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This move should free up resources for more serious matters.

“Everyone is concerned about what we’re seeing, as it relates to violent crime,” said Bryant.

A plan like this will take some time to complete.

Bryant said he’ll assign 10% of each graduating class of new officers to the new precinct. This plan would allow for an additional 20 to 24 officers in Buckhead.

APD confirmed the extra two officers added next month will work out of the Lenox Square precinct for the time being. The department is looking for a site for the so-called West Village precinct.