ATLANTA (CBS46) -- Atlanta Police are working to make things safer in Buckhead. Police Chief Rodney Bryant told CBS46 Thursday he is creating a new mini precinct in the West Village where officers will focus specifically on Buckhead traffic incidents.
“Being in Buckhead everything has just been so suspect,” said Alexandra Knoten who works at a Buckhead hotel. “Our clientele has been scared to come at this point, so I think it will be a good idea,” she explained.
The goal of the new West Village precinct will be to have 24 officers focusing on handling on traffic incidents so that all other officers in the area can tackle crime and bigger issues.
“We anticipate that by 2022 that precinct will be fully operational,” Bryant said. “Right now, they will operate out of the Lenox Square precinct until we can find a location to house that unit.”
In trying to get to the bottom of Buckhead crime, Bryant says the department learned that Buckhead sees major population boom each day, which is a big factor in recent safety concerns
“In a certain part of Buckhead, the population doubled in size every day and most of our units were being tied up on traffic incidences,” Bryant said. “This is not just crime driven but population driven as well and it will relieve the officers that are in that zone 2 space,” Bryant said of the upcoming precinct.
Overall, crime across the city is still up 9% but Bryant says crime numbers are coming down in major violent areas.
“At the beginning of the summer, our murder rate was up 59%. We dropped that down 47% since that time. Our rapes were at 103%. We dropped that down 39% since that time,” Bryant stated, adding that aggravated assaults are coming down as well, but also noted the city has more work to do.
One of the worst recent crimes still unsolved is the brutal slaying of Katie Janness and her dog Bowie inside Piedmont Park.
“Some cases take longer than others to resolve but we get there,” Bryant said. He says detectives have not ruled out any suspects in the case. CBS46 asked Bryant if he is concerned about how long it's taken so long to try to make an arrest.
“I’m not at the point of concern because I know that the team is on it and have been working diligently, and we continue to get calls from people in the community that have been beneficial to us,” Bryant said.