SOUTH FULTON, Ga. — The City of South Fulton Police say its focus on the root causes of violent crime has helped it cut its murder rate by nearly half in the first half of 2022.
From January through June 2021, the city investigated 11 homicides. In the same timeframe this year, six murders have been reported, a decline of 45%, according to a press release.
Detectives say they have made arrests in five of those cases.
“Most violent crime stems from gang and drug activity,” Chief Keith Meadows said. “By focusing on these areas, we have been able to drive down violent crime by double digits in the previous three years.”
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From 2019 through 2021, South Fulton’s violent crimes – murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, theft, and auto theft – dropped by 42%, according to the release.
Meadows attributes the drop to a strategic focus on known gang members as well as operations in areas they are known to frequent.
Meadows’s narcotics squad has conducted numerous successful raids in the last year, including one that broke up a drug superstore in a warehouse on Fulton Industrial Boulevard.
Some of those operations were conducted around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, when drug activity has spiked in recent years, according to the release.
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Meadows says using the nationally accepted CompStat model to closely follow data to build strategies helps his department identify key trends as well as areas where crime occurs more often.
“CompStat provides us with a way to accurately and quickly identify parts of the city where a majority of serious crimes happen,” Meadows said. “Using that information, we can deploy resources to those problem areas.”
The department explained how the data is tabulated.
CompStat allows police to collect, analyze and map crime data as well as track other police performance measures, ensuring accountability at all levels within an agency.
Following the model, different units provide weekly computer analysis reports of crimes, calls and results. That data is placed on maps to show where crimes regularly occur.
Department leaders attend weekly meetings, where they must report the findings of their analysis.
“The process fosters a team approach to problem-solving and ensures we maintain a focused and unified vision in correcting the quality of life issues,” Meadows said. “By working together, we ensure a safer community. That’s what we strive to do every day.”
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