At mayor’s town hall, police chief blasts fulton courts for buckhead crime – reporter newspapers gsa 2016 new orleans


For the actual mayor, the forum was a visit to the lion’s den of Bottoms’ former electoral opponent, Buckhead resident Mary Norwood, who lost the 2017 race by a slim margin. Norwood, who recently made a political re-emergence as chair of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods, was in the audience but did not directly ask questions of Bottoms or the various department heads who joined her. In January, Norwood issued a letter calling for the mayor to hold local meetings about crime.

The town hall crowd packed a 400-seat auditorium at the History Center, and Bottoms said at least 50 people showed up and could not fit inside. The format involved city department heads giving brief updates about their electricity usage by state programs; the question-and-answer period; and an opportunity for residents to meet staff members of various departments at tables elsewhere in the building.

Shields said that APD was not doing a great job in Buckhead’s Zone 2 patrol year starting around two years ago, especially on the challenging crimes of car burglaries by criminals driving into the neighborhood gas news australia from elsewhere in the city or metro area. Now the police are doing a better job, but Fulton courts are letting too many defendants out to commit more crimes, she claimed.

Since then, APD moved specialty units into Zone 2 to crack down, and local crime is down 5 percent in the first two months of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, Shields said. Bottoms recently secured a major police pay increase, which Shields says is boosting morale in the short term and will boost the short-staffed force in the long run. And APD just announced a plan to shift some police beats to make Zone 2 smaller with the same number of officers, so they can focus on patrolling the core neighborhood.

“I know that when you’re the electricity measurements units victim of a crime, when your neighbor’s the victim of a crime, you don’t give a damn about my numbers. I got it,” Shields said. “But I have to measure the effectiveness of our tactics and the crime rate is the best way to do that. [A lower rate] doesn’t mean we’re satisfied. It doesn’t mean we’re done. It means that what we’re doing is working, that we’re arresting the correct individuals.”

The ongoing problem, Shields claimed, is that the Fulton District Attorney’s Office is not prosecuting car-related crimes and Fulton judges are often granting bond to defendants with long criminal records or other obvious issues. She called for the public’s help in pressing for reform in the county system, which electricity video bill nye drew sustained applause, including a standing ovation from City Councilmember Howard Shook.

In part, she got applause because many attendees are already involved in such efforts after hearing from Shields and Zone 2 commander Maj. Barry Shaw in recent community meetings. Facebook-based crimefighting groups like Concerned Citizens United are involved in new program to monitor judges’ decisions, and City Councilmember J.P. Matzigkeit recently met with top Fulton judges to learn about the system and its challenges.

Some local crimefighting advocates spoke at the meeting. Amber Connor, a well-known organizer of crime meetings, called for a boost in police pensions and for officers to be paid or given compensation time for testifying in court; Bottoms said resources may be too tight at the moment. Another Concerned Citizens United member said the group had been trying to get a meeting with Bottoms for over a year electricity outage houston tx without any response; Bottoms would not commit to a personal meeting, but said her office would check on some type of scheduling.

However, she was heavily booed when she mentioned her executive order last year that ended the practice of housing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainees in the city jail in exchange for fees. Such detainees were moved to other metro area jails. In part, it was a policy clash between a Democratic mayor and many Republican audience members in a time where President Trump has made undocumented immigration a hot-button issue. And some residents indicated they thought Bottoms’ general plan to turn the jail into more of a social services center means criminals are left to roam the streets, which she and Shields said is not true gas yoga.

“I signed [the executive order] because I did not feel that the city of Atlanta should be complicit in the family separation that was happening at the [Mexican] border,” Bottoms said, referring to ICE’s “zero tolerance” treatment of some undocumented immigrants that Trump began, then ended amid intense controversy. Her explanation gained more boos but also some applause.

Bottoms also mentioned her signing of an ordinance that eliminated cash bonds for people charged in Municipal Court with petty crimes, which has reduced the city jail’s inmate population. The intent is to avoid jailing people who simply cannot afford bail on minor charges. Shields says APD never sent people accused of felonies to the city jail and that it has been primarily “something of a mental institution, a rehab facility.”