Holyfield adds heavyweight boost to Reed's mayoral bid; Borders gets her dander up

In unveiling his new "Blueprint for Restoring Public Safety in Atlanta," state Sen. Kasim Reed brought out the big guns — in the form of Evander Holyfield's right and left arms. While bringing a well-known heavyweight boxing champ to a campaign press conference might initially sound like a publicity stunt, there was actually a relevant connection: Holyfield was a friend and mentor to Vernon Forrest, the welterweight boxing champion who was murdered at a Castleberry Hill gas station this past Saturday night after he confronted a mugger.

Reed's plan, which will now go toe-to-toe with the patented Mary Norwood 12-Point Public Safety Program, is titled "Securing Atlanta." Here's the campaign blurb:

Securing Atlanta is a comprehensive plan to tackle the growing problem of crime in the city. The plan includes increasing the existing size of our police force with 750 additional police officers, establishing a dedicated revenue stream for public safety, updating our technology such as adding more surveillance cameras, improving officer retention by restoring step increments and making salaries more competitive. Securing Atlanta also takes a holistic approach to reducing crime by addressing other contributing factors such as the importance of revitalizing our neighborhoods, giving our young people greater opportunities and addressing the escalation in gang activity.

Unlike Norwood's plan, Reed's proposal includes a funding method, the above-mentioned "dedicated revenue stream for public safety," which he has said would be in the form of a special tax district whose residents (that's us) would foot the additional cost.

Can we now expect Lisa Borders to roll out her own splashy public-safety initiative, perhaps called, "Kicking Butt and Taking Names: Fighting Crime in the ATL?" Apparently not, judging from her most recent campaign release, headlined: Borders Calls For End To Public Safety Rhetoric.

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