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Clayton County keeps growing and crime is increasing | Here's how police are responding

Violent crimes and drug overdoses have gone up in Clayton County during the past year, according to data from multiple county agencies.

JONESBORO, Ga. — Violent crimes and drug overdoses have gone up in Clayton County over the past year, according to the latest data from county agencies. Now law enforcement is taking steps to try and keep the community safer by creating a new crime task force.

Clayton County Police Department and six county municipal police departments are joining forces for a new task force to crack down on crime, drugs and gangs.

"Clayton County is the third smallest county [in Georgia] but the fifth most populated," Clayton County Commissioner Chairman Jeffrey E. Turner said.

The increase in population has meant a rise in crime. 

“When you see an escalation in major crimes, we’ve got to do something about it," Turner said. 

Turner knows all about policing, with 23 years of experience in law enforcement, including as the former Clayton County Police chief.

“The citizens don’t care about county and city lines," Turner said. "They want to feel safe where they live, work, and play.”

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners approved the Joint Crime Suppression Task Force at its Tuesday evening meeting.  

Each police agency will provide several officers for the task force. That includes departments in Jonesboro, Morrow, Forest Park, Lovejoy, Forest Park, and Riverdale. Officers will be given countywide jurisdiction and report back to the county police's TITAN unit, which will analyze the data, look for crime hot spots, and deploy the task force to those areas. 

"The creation of the task force will give designated personnel an opportunity to be proactive to go to those high-crime areas, to police those areas and make sure they’re looking at the crimes being committed," Turner said. "This creation of the task force will give us that capability to be able to go after those hardened criminals.”

People who live in Clayton County said the idea of bringing several agencies together sounds beneficial for the community.

“I’m originally from New York City, and we have one of the largest police departments. Here, there’s entities, and they’re divided," Jonesboro resident Kimberly Williams said. "If they could come together and everybody work as one, I think it would be amazing. I think we’d get a lot done."

The Clayton County police agencies will meet Thursday to finalize plans for the task force. The county and municipal police chiefs didn’t want to talk until it had been in place for several weeks. 11Alive will follow up with them then and let you know how it’s going.

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