The Buckhead Security Plan is growing.
Launched last year, it’s a strategy of adding a group of off-duty police officers to augment the Atlanta Police Department’s efforts by patrolling the community’s commercial district to combat crime.
At its Jan. 27 meeting, the Buckhead Community Improvement District’s board voted to approve allocating $118,000 to expand the program by adding a third off-duty officer in a co-branded cruiser to patrol within the district’s boundaries.
The organization has funded a dedicated supplemental patrol officer and vehicle for the commercial core since March and added a second officer and vehicle in December. The patrol supplements existing Atlanta Police on-duty patrols Tuesdays through Sundays from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m.
“The safety of the Buckhead community is our top priority for the foreseeable future, and I’m pleased that the CID board continues to provide such significant financial support for security efforts,” Jim Durrett, the district’s executive director and the Buckhead Coalition’s president, said in a news release.
The plan was released by a committee with leaders from 11 organizations. Its members include Durrett and representatives of the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Atlanta City Council, the Fulton County Board of Commissioners, the Atlanta mayor’s office, the police’s Zone 2, Livable Buckhead, the Buckhead Business Association, the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods and Atlanta Neighborhood Planning Units A, B, and C.
The plan has been referred to as Buckhead Blue since it was at one time modeled after the Midtown Blue program. But Midtown Blue is separate from the Buckhead plan in that its patrols are 24/7, seven days a week.
According to its website, Midtown Blue has a set of more than 40 off-duty cops forming a group of nearly three officers per shift patrolling that area every hour of every day each year. District 8 Councilman J.P. Matzigkeit, a committee member, said its annual budget is $1.8 million.
The Buckhead Security Plan would be completely privately funded, and a cost estimate has not been made yet, but Matzigkeit said it could exceed $1 million annually.
The plan also includes a framework for information gathering, including upgrades and adding more infrastructure to existing or new platforms, increasing its investment in the Crime Stoppers Atlanta tip program and pushing for policy and procedural changes to improving enforcement of existing laws and ordinances.
For more information on the plan, visit https://bit.ly/2Vr0138.