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ATL Business Chronicle Maria Saporta

Column: Atlanta leaders celebrate 30 percent drop in crime in city since 2009

Atlanta Police Foundation Atlanta Police Foundation's Crime is Toast breakfast: UPS CEO Dave Abney, retired UPS executive Cal Darden, Police Chief George Turner, APF Chair Robin Loudermilk and APF CEO Dave Wilkinson (Photo: Special from the Atlanta Police Foundation)

Editor’s note Jan 14, 2017: Maria Saporta shares some interesting statistics on crime in GA’s Fifth Congressional District. The fifth district is represented by civil rights leader and long time Congressman John Lewis.

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Sept. 9, 2016

At the annual “Crime is Toast” breakfast on Aug. 30, Atlanta business community celebrated a 30 percent drop in crime within the city limits since 2009.

Part of that success can be attributed to the Atlanta Police Foundation, which raises private dollars to support crime-fighting initiatives not covered by city tax dollars. “Atlanta can not be a thriving business center if it’s not safe,” said Dave Abney, CEO of United Parcel Service, which was the “Chief” sponsor of the breakfast. Abney, who knows Atlanta is the signature city in the region, said the community has to be diligent because “the world is watching.”

Businesses have been supportive of Atlanta’s efforts to add security cameras, provide leadership training, creating housing opportunities inside the city for police officers and building a youth center on the Westside. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed highlighted a $1 million gift from GE on Aug. 26 that will go to public safety as well as the Atlanta Police Foundation’s $15.6 million capital campaign.

Atlanta Police Foundation

Atlanta Police Foundation’s Crime is Toast breakfast: UPS CEO Dave Abney, retired UPS executive Cal Darden, Police Chief George Turner, APF Chair Robin Loudermilk and APF CEO Dave Wilkinson (Photo: Special from the Atlanta Police Foundation)

Atlanta Police Chief George Turner thanked the business community for its support, saying they may never know how their contributions can help change people’s lives. “I grew up in the City of Atlanta, and I spent the first nine years of my life in public housing,” Turner said, adding that his life was changed at a youth program. “I had the grace and good fortune to have a police officer who changed my life.”

After the breakfast, Turner added: “I’m not supposed to be here.” Looking at statistics, Turner said that many of the young black males who grew up in Perry Homes have ended up in jails or worse.

That’s why he applauded the idea of a youth center and reaffirmed that Atlanta can be a model for other cities facing confrontations between communities and police. “Back in 1948, we hired the first black police officer in this city,” Turner said. “We are the most diverse police department in the country. It is part of a tapestry that is Atlanta.”

Robin Loudermik, chairman of the Atlanta Police Foundation, said the three-year campaign launched late last year has already raised $10.73 million of the $15.6 million. He expects it to wrap up by the end of the year, and he expects it to bring in more than the goal. The breakfast alone raised nearly $180,000.

During the breakfast, several leaders mentioned the goal of making Atlanta “the safest big city in America.” But Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation, acknowledged there is no metric currently that ranks comparable cities.

Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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29 Comments

  1. Dan Armstrong January 14, 2017 12:31 pm

    Tell trump !Report

    Reply
  2. Sherry Abernathy Crawley January 14, 2017 1:16 pm

    Thank you, Maria!Report

    Reply
  3. Deborah Burgess McCarren January 14, 2017 3:23 pm

    Thanks for reposting, Maria!Report

    Reply
  4. Chuck Burleson January 14, 2017 3:36 pm

    The Donald can’t identify with anything resembling truth. He so demeans the office he is about to assume; God help us all!Report

    Reply
  5. Chuck Burleson January 14, 2017 3:37 pm

    Keep bringing it, Maria!Report

    Reply
  6. Akazia J Hunt January 14, 2017 5:52 pm

    Thank you for cancelling out the fake info from the Cheeto.Report

    Reply
  7. Sean Marlow January 14, 2017 6:42 pm

    That which remains happens at The Darlington Apts. on peachtree rd. In buckhead. Yes, I said buckheadReport

    Reply
  8. Behnoosh Tehrani January 14, 2017 6:48 pm

    Thank you Maria [email protected]Report

    Reply
  9. Thomas Hayes January 14, 2017 8:22 pm

    The truth–somebody’s got to do it when the winner by cheating, distraction can be counted on to spew vile fact less, uncalled for retaliatory bullying.Report

    Reply
  10. Rob Augustine January 14, 2017 8:41 pm

    Let Trump come to Atlanta!! On second thought, tell him to stay away.Report

    Reply
  11. Tom Budlong January 14, 2017 10:45 pm

    She should send a copy of the report to Trump, not that he’ll read it.Report

    Reply
  12. Brenda Creek Reichert January 14, 2017 11:14 pm

    Forest Park, Hapevile & Morrow’s crime rate is much higher than the Georgia average crime rate and is much higher than the national average crime rate. A lot of Lewis’s district are slums. and they are considered metro Atlanta.Report

    Reply
  13. Dennis Caniglia January 15, 2017 3:22 am

    Atlanta #14 most dangerous city in 2015‼. Watch the news every night. Just saying.Report

    Reply
  14. Dan Whisenhunt January 15, 2017 6:55 am

    Crime in Atlanta and around the nation is at historic lows. Read the UCR stats. Just saying.Report

    Reply
  15. Dennis Caniglia January 15, 2017 7:43 am

    Might want to do your homework and watch the nightly news.Report

    Reply
  16. Dan Whisenhunt January 15, 2017 8:18 am

    Perhaps you missed the part where I said you have to look at the historical data. Crime is the lowest it’s been since the 90s. That’s true nationwide, not just in Atlanta. The nightly news provides crime stories because that’s what people want to watch, not because Atlanta is Gotham City. That’s why shows like CSI are so popular. Do some research instead of drawing conclusions from watching TV and reading Wikipedia.Report

    Reply
  17. Dan Whisenhunt January 15, 2017 8:22 am

    This is literally the first paragraph of the Wikipedia article, though.
    “Crime in Atlanta, Georgia is above the national median and has been a major problem for the city since the middle 20th century. However, in recent years, the crime rate has begun to decline. Between 2001 and 2009 the crime rate in Atlanta dropped by 40 percent, according to the FBI. Homicide fell 57 percent. Rape was down 72 percent. Violent crime overall was down 55 percent.”
    Even your homework disproves your homework.Report

    Reply
  18. Johnny Pride January 15, 2017 9:56 am

    Trump doesn’t read, so he doesn’t know……anything.Report

    Reply
  19. JigabooJames January 15, 2017 6:28 pm

    http://www.politifact.com/georgia/statements/2013/oct/02/city-atlanta/atlanta-erred-claim-drop-crime/
    Keep your story straight, filthy commies
    Or you’ll be next out the helicopterReport

    Reply
  20. mariasaporta January 15, 2017 10:44 pm

    JigabooJames No need to start calling names.  That politifact was done in 2013 – a totally different period than the one this story referenced.Report

    Reply

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