ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) — More police officers will be on the streets of the Buckhead community within months.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens was joined by Atlanta Police Department leadership and other city leaders Thursday to unveil the location of a new police precinct.
"It is of paramount concern to me to stop this crime wave that we have in our city," Mayor Dickens told the crowd more than a week into his new role.
"It is impossible to overstate just how important this new precinct is," he said.
The West Village precinct will be housed in One Buckhead Plaza at the corner of West Paces Ferry and Peachtree Roads. The officers that work out of that location will be in addition to the current Zone 2 officers.
The space is empty now but the mayor and APD said the goal is to have it up and running by summer with at least twelve officers working out of it.
"What these officers will be doing that work out of this precinct will be handling primarily traffic related calls, they will be visible, they will be available and open to the community and that will free up the beat officers to be better crime fighters," said APD Zone 2 Commander Major Andrew Senzer.
He said nearly 50% of the calls in the zone are traffic-related.
"It’ll let them handle the 911 calls expeditiously, it’ll allow them to patrol the neighborhoods where they want to patrol," Senzer added.
There is a movement underway to have Buckhead become its own city. Mayor Dickens said that movement is not what's motivating the development of this new precinct.
"We will be on city with one bright future," Dickens said.
"The growth that we’re seeing in Buckhead exceeds what we’re seeing in other areas and that’s why we’re initiating this effort here first is because of the need, the growth, the activity in Buckhead is very similar to what we saw in our midtown precinct," said APD Chief Rodney Bryant.
The city signed a ten-year lease with Counsins Properties for $1 a year for the space. The Buckhead Coalition and Buckhead Community Improvement District (BCID) are contributing $150,000 to complete the space and get it ready for the officers. The Buckhead Coalition will donate the furniture, according to Jim Durrett, president and CEO of the Buckhead Coalition and the executive director of BCID.
Durrett said, "It’s a great example of what can be done when we come together to focus on a problem and come up with a solution."