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Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announces ‘nightlife division’ to address crime

In his first ‘State of the City’ address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new initiative to help curb violence in and around the city’s nightclubs
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 8:17 AM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - In his first ‘State of the City’ address, Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens announced a new initiative to help curb violence in and around the city’s nightclubs – a ‘nightlife division’ within the mayor’s office.

Its objective, Dickens said, is to train nightclub owners and employees how to de-escalate violence, administer first aid, and respond to emergencies.

In February alone, more than four shootings were reported at Atlanta nightlife establishments. Among them was a dispute in front of Loca Luna restaurant that escalated to gunfire injuring a man. The following night, a shooting at Chic Restaurant and Lounge took place. Luckily, no one was injured. Days later, a 25-year-old man lost his life after a dispute at Blue Flame Lounge turned violent. Following this, a man and woman at Club Traffik fell victim to a drive-by shooting that also stemmed from an altercation.

“Nightlife is a significant part of who we are as a city,” Dickens told the crowd gathered at the Georgia World Congress Center, “but bad operators and bad patrons will be kept in line.”

Dickens also announced a goal of creating or preserving 20,000 units of affordable housing over the next eight years. The effort will be overseen by an “Affordable Housing Strike Force,” said the mayor, calling it “a one-stop shop to oversee all of our affordable housing needs.”

Another announcement stirred the crowd.

“One thing you guys are going to love is we are relaunching the “Pothole Posse,” said the mayor, evoking cheers from the audience.

“Go on and clap,” he said with a laugh.

Originally created by former Mayor Shirley Franklin, the Pothole Posse, Dickens promised, will have a goal of filling 30 potholes a day.

Dickens urged voters to approve in May an extension of a special sales tax to go toward transportation improvements. He said if it passes, it’ll generate $3 billion over the next 20 years and that 100 percent of it will go toward sidewalk, roadway, and bridge repairs.

You can watch the full State of the City Address here: