Public safety task force issues recommendations, action plan to curb crime in Buckhead

A public safety task force just issued nearly 30 recommendations to crack down on the string of violence plaguing the Buckhead area.

The suggestions coming just days after Georgia Republican voters said they believe Buckhead residents should be allowed to vote on whether to become its own city.

The 21-page report touch on a number of suggestions to tackle gang activity and repeat offenders. It also suggests expanding police and security patrols. While centered on Buckhead, city leaders said these recommendations will also benefit other Atlanta communities grappling with violent crime.

The Buckhead Public Safety Task Force assembled for 90 days to discuss methods to boost safety in that area.

The 22-member board, consisted of law enforcement, residents, Atlanta City Council members and policymakers. They conducted six meetings to bring forth these recommendations and plan of action.

"I remember a time when we had the adequate resources," Councilman Michael Julian Bond explained. 

The task force's nearly 30 recommendations include improving the alcohol licensing process, improve Atlanta Police Department recruitment and hiring to increase staffing, lobby for city of Atlanta jail to reduce overcrowding at Fulton County, and acknowledge that the social aspects of crime are more than a police issue.

Council Members Mary Norwood and  Bond introduced legislation earlier this year to create the task force.

"There are many things administratively that don't require that type of funding, so we need to be implementing those things now," Bond detailed. 

In recent weeks, FOX 5 reported about a deadly officer involved shooting inside Fogo De Chao, a shooting involving a ride-share driver near Roxboro Road, an armed robbery near Publix on West Paces Ferry Road, and a deadly shooting at The Roasters restaurant on Lenox Road.

"It distresses me because I remember a time when these things weren't happening," Councilman Bond said.

Georgia Republican voters in Tuesday's primary said they believe Buckhead residents should be allowed to vote on whether to break off from Atlanta and become their own city.

The question on the Republican ballot asked about Buckhead cityhood and the dramatic increase of crime in the area.

"I wasn't really surprised by that response but having this response in hand, we'll all be better off with those type of recommendations in place and activated," Bond said in reaction to the vote. 

He said the next step is to have the recommendations go before the city council and put forth the funding in place to implement the suggestions.