By Jim Durrett, President of Buckhead Coalition and Executive Director of Buckhead Community Improvement District and Denise Starling, Executive Director of Livable Buckhead
It’s the season for giving thanks, and Buckhead has a lot for which to be grateful. At the top of that list are the extraordinary public servants at both the Atlanta Police Department (APD) and Atlanta Fire Rescue Department (AFRD) who tirelessly work to protect public safety in Buckhead. Every day they confront difficult – and sometimes dangerous — situations that most of us would do everything within our power to avoid. The past several years have been particularly challenging times for these public servants, making it even more important to show them our gratitude and to provide support where we can.
Showing support and gratitude isn’t just a nice thing to do – it’s an integral part of improving public safety. These difficult jobs often don’t pay a lot, so a little thanks can make a big difference in morale and strengthen officer and firefighter recruitment efforts. That’s why the Buckhead Security Plan included an objective to provide gift cards, host events and take other actions to support the APD.
Many people and organizations have gladly stepped up to show their thanks for APD and AFRD in Buckhead.
Last Christmas Eve, Livable Buckhead, Buckhead Rotary, the Fire Rescue Foundation, the Buckhead Coalition and the Buckhead Community Improvement District (BCID) delivered a full holiday meal to every fire station and police precinct in Atlanta. Plans are in the works to repeat these special-delivery meals again in 2022, showing our thanks to the firefighters and officers who are giving up time with their families during the holidays to keep us all safe.
A few months ago, the Zone 2 APD precinct on Maple Drive got some much-needed attention. Volunteers from Truist and Livable Buckhead gave the office interior a fresh coat of paint, and the Buckhead Coalition and BCID put the finishing touch on the facelift by securing a furniture donation. The Buckhead Coalition also secured a dozen lounge chairs for Atlanta Fire Rescue stations in Buckhead.
Plus, you may have noticed a big sign of our gratitude to APD Zone 2 earlier this year. Located over the traffic light in the Buckhead Village during last April, the Buckhead Coalition and BCID purchased billboard space expressing the community’s thanks to APD Zone 2 and recognizing them for earning the 2021 Crime Reduction Award. Their hard work continues, and crime continues to fall.
Finally, Livable Buckhead is leading a program for the third consecutive year that will place a decorated Christmas tree in every fire station in Atlanta. You can get involved with this effort in one of two ways: 1. Donate $250 to cover costs for one of the 40 trees or 2. Decorate an ornament to go on the fire station trees during a holiday event at Buckhead Village District on Dec. 3 from noon to 3 p.m.
During this Thanksgiving season, we hope you’ll find a few minutes while traveling to visit families and shopping to check off friends’ holiday wish lists to say thank you to the people who ensure safety where you live.