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Atlanta police chief talks plans to reduce crime this summer

The new Atlanta police chief is addressing a rising concern – reducing the city’s violent crime rate.

ATLANTA — Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant, who took over as permanent chief Monday, has emphasized crime in Atlanta is his number one concern and the number one struggle in the city right now. 

Bryant released the department's summer plan aimed at addressing crime during a press conference Wednesday afternoon.  He started by acknowledging the drastic increase in guns on the streets and the uptick in gun thefts.

“One of the things we continue to see is the number of handguns that we find in a number of youth and a number of people who just shouldn’t have guns in their hand. We believe we have to intercept that and being able to find out where these guns are coming from and cut that avenue off," Bryant said.

He said the new initiatives will target violent crimes in the areas that have been most affected in Atlanta. 

"We’ve seen an uptick in crime throughout Atlanta and I want to reassure the citizens of Atlanta that we will remain vigilant throughout the entire summer." 

Bryant said APD is focusing more patrols on weekends and working with nightclubs to prevent crime. 

“This plan goes specific after violent crime, it goes specifically at the nightclubs that we’re having problems with and the quality of life issues that the public is bringing forth, " he said. 

He said the plan is in effect June through Saturday, August 28.

This comes after Chief Bryant announced changes at the Atlanta City Council’s meeting. During the meeting he said he would be “immediately restructuring” his department, following a violent weekend in the city.  

At the meeting he also made plans to form a domestic violence unit, expand the department’s gun assault unit, heavily recruit both in and out of state, and expand the department’s license and permits. 

Bryant had served as interim chief since June 2020 after the resignation of then-Chief Erika Shields. He began his law enforcement career in 1988 when he joined APD as a police officer.