The Buckhead Community Improvement District has stepped up in its measures to address a 9% increase in crime in the area.
The district is a self-taxing group of businesses that use those funds to maintain the area’s infrastructure. In partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Atlanta Police Department, it is allocating $297,000 in funds to complement and enhance current public safety and security initiatives within the district’s boundaries.
“We’re delighted to partner with the (district) in providing enhanced security and surveillance for the Buckhead community,” Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation said in a news release. “This collaboration between (the foundation) and the (district) is a prime example of the power of public/private partnerships to make our city safe.
“These investments will enable APD to install cameras that will expand the Operation Shield canopy of surveillance cameras, as well as to establish a Buckhead patrol whose sole mission will be the safety and security of Buckhead residents and businesses.”
At its monthly meeting March 25, the board voted to approve the funding for safety and security.
“I am very pleased that the board today approved the expenditure of significant funds to bolster Atlanta Police Department efforts to address the safety of employees, residents and visitors within our district,” Jim Durrett, the district’s executive director, said in the release. “Our close working relationships with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the Atlanta Police Department’s Zone 2 leadership were integral to helping us make this important decision.”
The enhancements include:
♦ A dedicated off-duty supplemental patrol officer in an Atlanta Police and district co-branded vehicle designed to deter crime and build community relations
♦ This patrol is in addition to on-duty police patrols
♦ Patrols will take place from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m., six days a week within the district’s boundaries only
♦ The cost is $150,000 for 2020, which includes a dedicated and branded vehicle
♦ Seven additional pan, tilt and zoom security cameras and three license plate readers that are integrated into the Operation Shield camera network and placed throughout the district to mitigate the increase in property crimes, at a cost of $107,000
♦ Six mobile, solar-powered combination camera and license plate readers, at a cost of $40,000, that will be deployed at various businesses, parking lots and strip malls to reduce breaking and entering crimes. These mobile camera-equipped trailers, also integrated into the Operation Shield camera network, have proven effective in quickly deploying technical assets to the police department and business community.
Last year, the district allocated funds for other safety and security initiatives in partnership with Livable Buckhead, a nonprofit that aims to ensure the long-term vitality and prosperity of the community.
Those initiatives include the launch of a multi-pronged public safety campaign to reduce the number of car break-ins, the development of a public safety committee to improve the flow of security-related information and requests to commercial property owners to connect their private security camera to the Operation Shield network.