Jan 13, 2022 - News

Buckhead to get a new police precinct

Police cap on dark background under spotlights.
Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Mayor Andre Dickens will open a new mini police precinct in the heart of Buckhead Thursday morning.

Why it matters: Dickens has made keeping Atlanta united an early priority, and with the Republican-led General Assembly session underway he doesn’t have much time to head off a Buckhead cityhood referendum.

What’s happening: Real estate company Cousins Properties is donating the space for the mini precinct in One Buckhead Plaza at the corner of Peachtree and West Paces roads. It will start with about a dozen officers working 12-hour shifts, with plans to double by the summer.

Catch up quick: Police Chief Rodney Bryant first announced the move in September. He said more officers were needed in Zone 2 in part because of Buckhead’s rapid population growth, which he said has kept most officers busy with accidents and traffic incidents.

  • “No other area in our city” has seen the same rate of population growth, he said.

Yes, but: Bill White, CEO of the Buckhead City Committee, told Axios this is “putting lipstick on a pig…we are starving for more police and this is a photo op, plain and simple.”

  • His group has called for 250 total police officers in Buckhead.
  • A city spokesperson said there are 106 officers in Zone 2, not including the 125 recruits in the pipeline, who will be assigned across the city.

What’s next: On the Buckhead front, Dickens was clear to state lawmakers at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast Wednesday that “there are about 400 steps between Atlanta City Hall and the Gold Dome” and “working together will make us stronger together.”

The intrigue: In fact, a spokesperson from the mayor’s office tells Axios he has met with House and Senate leadership on both sides of the aisle, including one such meeting Wednesday afternoon.

  • Two bills have already been filed aiming to make Buckhead cityhood a reality.
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