ATLANTA — Local, state and federal authorities are teaming up to crack down on repeat offenders in an effort to curb the rise in crime in the Atlanta area.
Officials believe this new unit will make a big difference.
One of the biggest problems when dealing with repeat offenders is the lack of communication between the different entities.
Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens says men and women who carry at least three felony convictions are still plaguing communities across metro Atlanta
“APD estimates that about 1,000 individuals, each one a repeat offender, are committing up to 40% of the crimes in our city,” Dickens said.
On Tuesday, Dickens unveiled a new tool for fighting crime. It’s called the Repeat Offender Tracking Unit.
Starting Tuesday, local, county and federal law enforcement agencies will have the ability to combine resources and share information with prosecutors, judges and community supervision in real time.
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An organized system that prosecutors say will make it easier to keep track of some of metro Atlanta’s most violent offenders.
“What it literally does is put a scarlet letter on those repeat offenders,” Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis said.
But not everyone is showing support for the new unit.
Atlanta resident and community activist Devin Barrington-Ward said he’s been a victim of crime, but he believes the problem is much more complicated than keeping offenders behind bars.
“This is reactionary. It is not proactive. We need proactive policing in the city of Atlanta,” Barrington-Ward said.
He told Channel 2′s Michael Seiden that he would like to see leaders focus on poverty, mental health and affordable housing.
“When are we going to do the hard work of rolling up our sleeves and actually investing,” Barrington-Ward said.
The new unit will eventually be housed along Mitchell Street in downtown Atlanta.
The mayor, DA, Atlanta police chief and Fulton County Sheriff have all said that the key to fighting crime is investing in our communities, providing good paying jobs and resources, especially to at risk youth.
They still believe this unit is a step in the right direction and they plan to grow it in the future.
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