Atlanta mayor says crime is down 12% in Buckhead. Cityhood movement says that’s not enough.

Atlanta — The Atlanta Police Department unveiled its new Buckhead Village precinct with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.

The department introduced the new building and outlined how the city says they are reducing crime in the area.

Amid the fanfare surrounding its opening, around a dozen Buckhead cityhood movement proponents attended the ceremony, where Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens spoke on Wednesday.

“Crime is down 12% in Buckhead year over year -- 12% down in Zone Two, so that’s personal crimes as well as property crimes,” Dickens said.

Gov. Brian Kemp and others joined Dickens for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at the West Paces Ferry Road police precinct, just a stone’s throw from the Buckhead triangle. Atlanta Police Department interim Chief Darin Schierbaum said his officers are fighting for citizens all over the city, including Buckhead.

“This community of Buckhead is protected by the Atlanta Police Department,” Schierbaum said.

But members of the Buckhead cityhood movement said it’s not enough. Leila Laniado, a member of the Buckhead City Committee, said she and other cityhood advocates want action on reduction of crime in the area.

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“The city of Atlanta promised to do something about it. Today is June. We’re six months later,” Laniado said. “This is the second ribbon-cutting we’ve gone to, and we are just tired of these photo-ops.”

Just Sunday night, a triple shooting at a Peachtree Road parking lot left one dead and two wounded, including Chaka Zulu, rap star Ludacris’ longtime manager.

Dickens pushed back at critics who have said the city isn’t doing enough to address crime, citing data that suggests the city is improving on that front.

“Well, I deal in data, and data says we are down 12%, so I don’t know what they are talking about,” Dickens said. “No matter what someone may say, they are just talking.”

The precinct, located on West Paces Ferry Road, will be home to 12 officers, which Atlanta hopes will shorten response time to incidents in Buckhead.

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