Mayoral candidates share plans for tackling crime in Atlanta

The race for Atlanta's next mayor is heating up.

Wednesday night, five of the candidates vying for the job sat down for a community forum.

The candidates shared their thoughts on what needs to be done to help the city thrive, addressing topics like affordable housing, effective government, and growing industries.

But the theme that was a part of almost every conversation was crime and the best way to address it moving forward.

If there's one thing the candidates trying to be the next mayor of Atlanta agree on, it's that crime prevention is the top priority for the city. 

"We want to be in a city that is safe, where we can raise our families, where we can work, where we can play, where we can love this city we all are in love with," Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore said.

Moore, Attorney Sharon Gay, former Mayor Kasim Reed, Councilman Andre Dickens, and Councilman Antonio Brown all have plans to address it.

Former Mayor Reed brought up investing in youth opportunities to help and addressing specific areas.

"We need to have rapid response teams sent to Lenox, Phipps, and Greenbriar to ensure people are safe when they are shopping," Reed said.

SEE MORE: Atlanta mayor announces $70M plan to combat violent crime

Another point centered around expectations from police officers.

"We've got to be clear with the department with what we expect, not ask them to do things that social services or mental health services are better equipped to do," Gay said.

Dickens says it's about looking at ways to be proactive.

"We want to be ahead of the game to do community policing where we have officers that can live in the city, and officers that are also walking the beat, to be able to learn how to deescalate situations, to work in a way that has conflict resolutions," Brown said.

And Brown says it's a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

"The reality is if we're going to address crime in this city it's not going to be based on how many officers we put on the streets of Atlanta," Brown said. It's going to be based on us addressing the root cause of generational poverty that is leading to crime that we see in this city."

The election for Atlanta's mayor will be held on Nov. 2, with a possible runoff election planned for Nov. 30.

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