Georgia Speaker of the House David Ralston wrote Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Thursday voicing concern over what he said was "a marked increase in crime, particularly violent crime, in recent weeks and months," in the city. He also announced hearings on crime in the city to determine if "state intervention may be necessary."
"The Editorial Board of the AJC noted, 'the public believes the city is losing the battle when it comes to protecting its citizens. That's unacceptable for a city as important and influential as Atlanta,' Unfortunately, I have to agree with that assessment," Speaker Ralston wrote in his letter to Mayor Bottoms.
Ralston said he felt, "a particular sense of obligation" to members of the General Assembly who spend time in Atlanta during the legislative session. Ralston pointed to what he said was a surge in homicides along with an increase in auto thefts, car break-ins, and other crimes, as reasons behind his move. He also mentioned that he was "disturbed" by 192 Atlanta Police officers quitting or being terminated last year.
Ralston's hearings will be headed by Representative J. Collins who currently serves as the Chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety & Homeland Security. Rep. Collins represents District 68 in the legislature.
Read the full letter below: