Buckhead residents will soon have a new Atlanta Police Department precinct at One Buckhead Plaza.
Set to open the summer, the precinct will be home to at least 12 police officers. Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens made the announcement early Jan. 13, saying the city of Atlanta has signed a 10-year lease with Cousins Properties. Buckhead Coalition and Buckhead Community Improvement are investing $150,000 to help build out the new precinct.
"This proximity of being able to get right down the street to this area is going to be critical," Dickens said.
Dickens was joined by Chief Rodney Bryant and Zone 2 Commander Major Andrew Senzer of Atlanta Police Department, Buckhead Coalition president and Buckhead CID executive director Jim Durrett and Cousins Properties CEO and Buckhead Coalition member Colin Connolly.
"This is a shining example of how to come together to unite to solve our problems in the Buckhead community and throughout Atlanta," Durrett said. "The Buckhead business community has also played a critical role in beginning to turn the tide on crime time and time again, they've stepped up and provided funding and other resources."
Zone 2 is one of the busiest zones for APD, covering Buckhead, West Midtown, Lenox Park and Piedmont Heights. According to Senzer, around 50% of calls from Zone 2 are traffic related, which takes up a great deal of officers' time when they could be handling other calls.
"We're reducing crime and we have the resources in the right places," Senzer said. "This precinct is one step and making sure that we have resources in the right area, but it takes a team and we have a great team."
The new precinct will free up the beat officers to patrol neighborhoods and turn their attention to crime fighting. This will be a game changer for us, Senzer said.
Dickens said the new precinct is also personal for him — he lived in Buckhead for 17 years and his daughter works in Buckhead.
"Just like I want my daughter's safety, I want your family to be safe," Dickens said. "I want citizens in Buckhead and around the whole city of Atlanta to feel safe in their communities. I'm 100% committed to keeping Atlanta safe for all of us and I and I've said this 100 times already, we will be one city with one bright future."
Near the beginning of the pandemic, Bryant said he and his team took a look at why Buckhead was still experiencing so much crime, even though COVID-19 had locked down the country. The study revealed that Buckhead's nightlife and business communities functioned different from other areas of the city.
"The growth that we're seeing in Buckhead exceeds what we're seeing in other areas and that's why we are initiating this effort. Here. First," Bryant said. "It's because of the need and nothing else. The growth in Buckhead, the activity in Buckhead is very similar to what we saw in Midtown precinct and so this is what we are going to emulate."
Bryant also said while the final numbers are not in yet, he believes Zone 2 will get the Crime Reduction Award this year.