SOUTH FULTON, Ga. - Leaders of the City of South Fulton told a crowd of residents how they plan to curb the most frequent crimes in their city and tackle the outsider perception that the newly-formed city is plagued with safety problems.
City officials said more than half of all violent crimes in Georgia's second-largest city occur along the Old National Highway corridor. 206 violent crimes occurred there in 2018.
"We want to make Old National great again," said Mayor William Edwards.
"By doing that we are going to put heavy law enforcement, education and make Old National what it used to be," he said.
Police said they have already allocated resources to significantly reducing the number of crimes by 30 percent in 2019.
"That's been the cusp of our initiatives -- targeting repeat offenders along Old National, targeting those gangs," Chief Keith Meadows said.
"That's something we have to continue to fight against-- that perception that the City of South Fulton is a violent city. The truth Is, our victimization rate is among the lowest in the region," Meadows said.
City leaders launched a program called "Don't be a target," encouraging residents to prevent the top crime in the city: car break-ins, which officials said can be curbed by people stop leaving valuables in their cars.
Chief Keith Meadows said car thieves search for weapons, steal guns left in vehicles, then use them in violent crimes in South Fulton and beyond.
"That's what [thieves are] looking for...I'm concerned what they're going to do in the next day, week or year," said Mayor William Edwards.
"I don't want to look in your car and see your computer. I don't want to look in your car and see your purse," Edwards said.