By David Pendered
The crime rate has been reduced notably around Atlanta university campuses in the two years since the Atlanta City Council called for dramatic improvements in public safety, according to a new report from Atlanta police.
Robbery rates are down significantly around the Atlanta University Center, which the report portrays as the primary target of the police department’s College Liaison Unit.
The council acted at a time students were frequent targets as victims. The council produced 15 safety recommendations in July 2012. The effort has received scant attention since then.
The police department’s College Liaison Unit has been grinding out the work and recently issued a 42-page report that covers the past academic year.
The report states that Atlanta police have established “effective collaboration” with student government associations of Georgia Tech, Georgia State, Morehouse College, Spelman College, Emory University, Atlanta Metropolitan College, and Clark Atlanta University.
The relations have enabled Atlanta police to conduct seminars on subjects including domestic violence, sexual assault, drug awareness, sex trafficking and public safety. The department also has gained insight into students’ attitudes on issues that could lead to public displays, such as reaction to the verdict in George Zimmerman’s trial in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.
The crime stats focus on the AUC area, which is located west of Northside Drive on the north and south sides of I-20. Highlights include:
- The overall crime rate surrounding the AUC was down 17 percent from 2012 to 2013;
- Robberies on the north side of I-20 were down 31 percent in the fall 2013 semester, compared to fall semester 2012;
- Robberies on the north side of I-20 were down 17 percent in the spring 2014 semester, compared to spring semember 2012;
- Robberies on the south side of I-20 were down 39 percent in the fall 2013 semester, compared to fall semester 2012;
- Robberies on the south side of I-20- were down 15 percent in the spring 2014 semester, compared to spring semester 2012.
The report includes a string of weekly reports that indicate Atlanta’s ivory towers exist amid areas of illegal activities. Here are some snippets from the report:
- “We have confirmed that members of the Blood Gang are operating out of one of the two houses currently under investigation,” near the AUC, Jan. 17;
- “Executed a search warrant … bringing an end to an undercover investigation ranging over the course of a two-month time period … Affiliated members of the Blood Gang were apprehended, approximately 3.4 grams of MDMA/ecstasy, as well as approximately 7 ounces of marijuana were recovered,” near the AUC, Feb. 28;
- “Apprehended (a suspect) with AUC target area on an active warrant out of Clayton County. It should be noted, (suspect) was accompanied by a man claiming to be a fashion show promoter, carrying approximately $10,000 U.S. currency on his person,” May 10.
- “Provide information into a school councilor distributing narcotics on the college and university campuses,” listed in year-end accomplishments.