NEWS BRIEF: Foot patrols needed to curb crime, business owners say

People are scared to shop downtown — again

Photo credit: Courtesy Atlanta Police Dept
APD Community Policing Initiative 2021
The crime rate in parts of Atlanta is so bad that business owners say they are losing customers. “The last two years, it’s just been a lot of unnecessary crime, a lot of loitering, just not enough police presence and it’s just disheartening,” said Monica Smith, owner since the 1990s of Mr. Everything Deli on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. “People don’t want to come down to support the business. They’re scared.” Locals are calling for foot patrols in the area, which are known to curb criminal behavior, they say. Chief Erika Shields started a temporary program two years ago and crime dropped by 55 percent, but as soon as the cops went away, criminals returned.