Channel 2 gets exclusive access to crime suppression unit working to keep city’s streets safer

ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News got exclusive access with state and local police as they continue to work to clean up crime in metro Atlanta.

Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne rode with a state trooper over a recent weekend and found himself in the thick of some dramatic chases.

During his ride along, Winne witnessed a PIT maneuver and a long and dramatic dirt bike chase on the city’s streets.

The detail was part of a multi-agency crime suppression effort started by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp.

The governor lined up with Fulton County Sheriff Pat Labat, a Democrat, and Interim Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum, who says he’s proud to work for Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, also a Democrat.

“It is a force multiplier that goes beyond political boundaries,” Labat said about the patrols.

“You see that despite political party, we all took an oath to serve and this is the manifestation of that oath to serve,” Schierbaum said.

“Public safety has no political boundaries to me. It cuts across all political lines. It doesn’t matter whether you’re Republican or Democrat, or whether you don’t care, you want your neighborhood to be safe,” Kemp said. “You want your streets to be safe.”

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Georgia Public Safety Commissioner Chris Wright said the weekend crime suppression operations conceived by Kemp started in April 2021.

Among the 2022 stats from GSP, as of last week, the unit has performed 8,925 vehicle stops, 187 pursuits, 404 custodial arrests, recovered 45 stolen vehicles, published notices for 126 wanted persons and made 6,165 citations.

“The governor and Col. Wright and his team could be anywhere in the state. But they choose to be here and so this is the capitol city,” Labat said.

A statement from a spokesperson for her campaign suggested Stacey Abrams as governor would build on her previous bipartisan success.

“By bringing together stakeholders who understand the connection between public safety and criminal justice,” the statement said. “Stacey is committed to addressing the issues of public safety and criminal justice to ensure that Georgians can live, work, go to school, and play without fear of violence.”

Wright told Winne that the weekend details were so successful, last year GSP started a 10-trooper full-time crime suppression unit.

“They work hand in hand with APD’s people. They ride with us,” Wright said.

Schierbaum said APD welcomes the collaboration on Atlanta’s streets.

“The citizens win,” Schierbaum said.

Winne witnessed two motorcycle chases: one involving suspected ecstasy and one involving a dirt bike.

Riley said the rider on the dirt bike, which was stolen, crashed and as of Monday, he remained in a hospital in critical condition more than a week later.

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