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Mayor Dickens discusses Atlanta crime, evaluating police on 100th day in office

Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 9:01 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - Mayor Andre Dickens celebrated his 100th day in office with a full schedule.

By mid-morning, he was on his third stop of the day, launching the AT&T Connected Learning Center at the At Promise facility next to the Andrew and Walter Young Family YMCA. The center is being organized along with the Atlanta Police Foundation as a space to offer free internet, computers, and academic resources for youth.

During the event, Dickens spoke about the progress he has made in his first 100 days in office but conceded that crime is still an issue.

“There are some areas that we are proud of,” Dickens told CBS46. “We moved the needle in certain areas but there is definitely still too much violent crime in our community.”

During the mayoral campaign, CBS46 asked then-candidate Dickens if he’d be keeping Police Chief Rodney Bryant in his post if elected.

“I want to make sure I do this on merit and metrics,” Dickens said during a CBS46 mayoral runoff debate in November. “I judge the police chief by how well they bring down violent crime in the first 100 days, by how we do recruitment,” he said adding that attrition, recruitment of 250 officers, and community-based policing strategies would also be points of evaluation. “If this current chief within the first 100 days can hit those markers, then that chief can keep his job,” Dickens said on the debate stage.

Dickens then told CBS46 he’d be assessing Bryant’s progress through those 100 days and then evaluating after.

“There are some things I am proud of that we’ve been doing. There are also some things that we have to take a closer look at. No one can actually feel that all crime has ended and things are going perfectly,” Dickens said Tuesday.

Atlanta Police tell CBS46 that Atlanta’s homicide rate has increased 31.5% from last April, year to date, rising from 38 homicides by April 7, 2021, to 50 homicides as of April 7, 2022.

Right now, Dickens says he is focusing on getting crime down before summer.

“I am looking at all the details, all the stats, and making sure that this summer we don’t have a spike in the summer. We kind of managed well during spring break,” he said.

Police Chief Rodney Bryant tells CBS46 he’s been focused on attrition, recruiting, and recruiting and building morale.

“I’ve gone to every roll call in every zone. I’ve gone to facilities that police say have never been visited before,” Dickens said. “Morale is higher,” he added.

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