Apr 5, 2022 - News

Atlanta's new City Hall division to focus on nightlife

Mayor Andre Dickens stands at a lectern for the 2022 State of the City Address
Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

Fed up with nightclubs and their patrons behaving badly, Mayor Andre Dickens is creating a special division to help Atlanta’s after-dark scene become safer.

Why it matters: Over the past few years, residents and city officials say, some bars and clubs in the city have been the source of headaches, noise and violence.

Catch up quick: Dickens made the announcement during Monday’s State of the City, the first for the new mayor who’s roughly 90 days into the job.

  • “Nightlife is a significant part of who we are as a city, but bad operators and bad patrons will be kept in line,” Dickens said during his address at the Georgia World Congress Center.

Zoom in: Early Sunday morning, a man was shot and killed outside a cluster of nightclubs in Buckhead. The killing of Malcom Collins, 27, was the second homicide and at least third shooting outside the bars since May 2021, 11 Alive reports.

Zoom out: Cities including Washington, Amsterdam and London have so-called "night mayors" to work with clubs and bars but also help address workers' issues and transportation during the night shift.

Details: The division, which will act as a resource for nightlife establishments on a range of issues, will fall under the Mayor’s Office of Film and Entertainment, a Dickens spokesperson says.

  • It will focus on “establishments that have a history of high crime in and around them” and host quarterly training on de-escalating violence and altercations, security, and first aid and emergency response.

More details about the division will be released at a later date, the spokesperson says.

What they're saying: Council member Amir Farokhi last year sponsored legislation to explore whether Atlanta should create a position focused on the "nighttime economy," including worker issues.

  • The council member tells Axios he supports Dickens' proposal and urges the mayor to consider expanding the role's focus in the future.
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