Atlanta Mayor Creating Office Of Violence Reduction

Democratic National Convention via AP

As violent crime continues to soar in pretty much every major city, mayors are in the proverbial hot seat. Regardless of who most of them blame–and plenty are unable to take a page from Lori Lightfoot and just blame Indiana–they’re still going to have to defend their own actions in this time.

Even if it doesn’t accomplish anything, they have to be seen doing something.

That’s what I thought about when I read about how the mayor of Atlanta was, among other things, creating the Office of Violence Reduction.

Atlanta City Council passed legislation Monday that will officially establish the creation of two executive offices: the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and the Office of Violence Reduction.

Crime has the become the leading issue in this year’s Atlanta’s mayoral race after last year’s historic rise in homicides. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, who is not seeking reelection, announced in July that she would pursue a $70 million investment into plans to combat violent crime. Some of those funds will go into the new violence reduction office.

In a statement, Bottoms called the new office “another step in the right direction towards keeping our communities safe.”

“We are committed to making investments in expanding violence interruption programs, which have proven successful in other cities,” Bottoms said.

The violence reduction office will lead several plans, such as installing 1,000 streetlights in “high violence areas” by December, according to the mayor’s office in a news release. In addition to coordinating expansions in infrastructure and enforcement against nuisance properties, the new office will also support efforts to add 250 cameras into the city’s network this year, as well as hiring 250 more officers in fiscal year 2022.

Consider me underwhelmed.

Don’t get me wrong, streetlights actually do seem to reduce crime to some degree–or at least make it easier for people to be witnesses–so it’s not completely stupid, nor is the hiring of more officers.

However, Atlanta has a serious issue and most of these seem to only go so far in addressing the issue.

I will say that Bottoms creating an office that will oversee the hiring of an additional 250 police officers is interesting considering that she apparently campaigned on eventually abolishing the police department. I guess once she got in office, she could see that was about as viable as trusting a fart the morning after Taco Tuesday.

But hey, who knows? It might actually work. The office may develop new strategies and find new ways to address violent crime, methods that can be employed in other communities throughout the nation.

As such, I’m probably not going to blast Bottoms for this. She’s not trying to find a way around Georgia’s preemption laws or anything of the sort, so I can deal with it.

That is, of course, as things stand at the moment. We’ll see what the Office of Violence Reduction actually accomplishes and whether it does any good or not. I’m skeptical, but I’m also a cynic when it comes to good intentions of politicians and public officials.

Dec 04, 2021 11:30 AM ET