South Fulton sees drop in overall crime rate amid the pandemic

Chief Keith Meadows had high praise for members of the South Fulton police force following the release of a report showing a reduction of overall crime in the city for the third straight year.

"I am so proud of the men and women, even in adverse circumstances they were able to perform at a very high level," Chief Meadows said.

The chief attributes the success the department's seen over the past two years to the relationships officers have built with members of the community.

"We maintained those relationships even in a pandemic stricken year and so we are very proud of the communication we had with our residents and their engagement over the course of 2020," Meadows said.

Crime was down 17 percent in 2020 from the previous year, and the department cleared 95 percent of its homicide cases.

Residents will soon have another way to interact with the department. SFPD is working on an app that will allow the public to upload video and photographs, and see where 911 calls are occurring through the city.

The chief said, "Now with technology, we have the ability to communicate through a much higher degree and that's really important and we are learning how to leverage that technology in a meaningful way to get that information to their police department and they see their police department responding to it."

With the reduction in crime, Chief Meadows said the department is receiving more complaint calls about quality of life issues, like illegal ATV activity. The department is using drone technology, and launching an ATV unit later this year, in response to an uptick in the use of illegal off-road vehicles in the city, and has partnered with other law enforcement agencies to eradicate street racing. Meadows said he also is exploring ways to address complaints about tractor-trailers deviating from their designated routes.

"The fact that we have pivoted away from crime talking about crime complaints and we are dealing more with quality of life type of issues," said Meadows. "Tells me the police department is headed in the right direction."

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