Homeowner says his neighborhood is a haven for guns, drug deals next to BeltLine

ATLANTA — A southwest Atlanta man says gangs, drugs, guns and prostitution are running rampant in his neighborhood near the BeltLine, and now he's concerned about the safety of families using the popular trail.

"We have a lot of automatic gunfire at night. It's a nightly occurrence. There are a lot of trap houses.
They don't get along and they come in and they shoot each other's houses up," said Joe Miller.

Miller says his neighbor had bullets fly through his bedroom window. He believes the Atlanta Police Department could do more.


"They've had a lot of neighbors provide information about what's working, what's not working but also who and where the crime is happening and we're not really seeing any additional resources in those areas," Miller said.

The homeowner's concerns are not just for those who live in the neighborhoods, but for the scores of people who use the BeltLine every day. He says he's seen criminal activity and had dangerous encounters near the trails.

"Just the other night walking to the BeltLine, my wife and I were accosted going and coming, and that's a great resource we want to take care of," he said.

The Atlanta Police Department has a different perspective. In a statement they wrote:

"We are familiar with Mr. Miller’s concerns about criminal activity in his neighborhood. He is mistaken about what he perceives as a lack of action by our department."

An APD spokesperson told Willis they've assigned crime suppression, narcotics and apex teams to work the area. They say that's resulted in 23 narcotic search warrants in the area between 2015 to 2017

They also say they've made 45 arrests since January of last year and conducted 283 suspicious persons stops.

Still, Miller says he can't feel the impact.

"We all know that they're strapped resource wise, but we get patrols. Patrols aren't going to stop this kind of activity."