ATLANTA — Governor Brian Kemp joined Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens and Interim Police Chief Darin Schierbaum for the ribbon cutting at the new Buckhead Village Police Precinct on Wednesday.
It's located at One Buckhead Plaza at Peachtree Road and West Paces Ferry.
"You want your neighborhood to be safe, you want your streets to be safe, that's what today is all about," said Kemp.
Dickens said moves like this boosts morale.
"It also makes people feel safer, we'll have more presence," said Dickens.
The precinct itself was privately funded with $150,000 from the Buckhead Coalition and Buckhead CID.APD is only paying $1 a year in rent to Cousins Properties for the next 10 years.
APD said its officers on bikes and in cars will patrol East Paces to Lenox Square, Pharr Road from Peachtree to Piedmont, Roswell Road from Peachtree to Piedmont and Piedmont Road from Roswell Road to Pharr Road.
"For certain calls we'll make it there quicker because it puts us right in the area," said Schierbaum.
In 2021 between January and June, there were 180 total crimes in Buckhead Village. This year in that same 6-month stretch there have been 175 crimes. That's a 3% drop. Dickens claims the drop in all of Buckhead is even greater.
"Crime is down 12% in Buckhead year over year -- personal crimes as well as property crimes," said Dickens.
So why put a new precinct here now?
Atlanta Police acknowledge crime is still too high and this part of Buckhead is an entertainment destination for people across metro Atlanta.
"With a number of visitors and businesses, and we take into consideration the traffic flow that was one of the reasons for selecting this," said Schierbaum.
There was some opposition as members of the Buckhead City movement calling Wednesday nothing more than a photo op. But Atlanta Police hope it makes a real difference.
"This is one piece of a very big collaboration, a very big police department that's fighting for this neighborhood," said Schierbaum.
Right now, there are 12 officers working at the new precinct: eight in traffic and four on bike patrols, but APD said their goal is to double that number in the next year to 24.