(The Center Square) — A Georgia public policy group has released a report offering suggestions on mitigating Atlanta’s uptick in violent crime.
The Georgia Center for Opportunity suggests the city focus on disrepair by expanding cleanup efforts, addressing abandoned buildings and installing adequate street lighting. It also recommended city officials build trust between residents, law enforcement and social services.
Other recommendations include implementing gang-enhancement provisions, requiring pre-entry cognitive behavioral therapy services for juvenile offenders and using a third party to examine reentry programs.
“The brief and its recommendations are designed to create a base level of what order and public safety should look like across the board,” Josh Crawford, director of criminal justice initiatives at GCO, said in an announcement. “It’s imperative that we have an intentional conversation about the state of crime in Atlanta now, and how we can improve that for the future.”
Crime has been a concern in Atlanta and statewide in recent years. Some jurisdictions have opted to increase police officer pay, hoping to retain law enforcement personnel.
Additionally, the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center in DeKalb County has become a flashpoint between those who say it is necessary to ensure first responders are properly trained and those who say it is unnecessary.
Earlier this year, Gov. Brian Kemp, a Republican, signed a series of public safety bills, including Senate Bill 44, which increases penalties for anyone who recruits children into gangs. Meanwhile, this month, state officials confirmed taxpayers are on the hook for $1.3 million to build a new Georgia State Patrol post on the grounds of the Governor’s Mansion in Atlanta’s Buckhead community.
By T.A. DeFeo | The Center Square contributor