Atlanta’s police chief discusses crime and how the city is combatting it

ATLANTA — Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant sat down with Channel 2′s Richard Elliot to discuss crime in the city of Atlanta.

Bryant discussed what the department is doing to combat the issues with crime the city and its citizens are currently facing. He also talked about the relationship between the Atlanta Police Department and citizens.

“We didn’t lose as much support as many people would believe, because we were still functioning as a police department,” Bryant said.

Bryant sat down with Channel 2 Action News to have an open and transparent discussion over the issues facing his department.

With the spike in violent crimes and issues from last summer’s protests, some thought many citizens lost confidence in the department. Bryant doesn’t think so.

“The community hadn’t abandoned us. There’s a faction of our community that was upset and for some, rightly so. But did we lose the city’s, the citizens of Atlanta as a whole? I don’t think so,” said Bryant.

Bryant did acknowledge that the department is combating a rise in violent crimes.

Murders are up 36% from this time last year and 53% from 2019.

Statistics also show that crime in eight major categories like rape and assault is up 10% from 2020. Those same crimes are down 10% from 2019.

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Bryant is reassuring people that most murders involve people who know each other. In most cases, these are not stranger- on-stranger crimes. He says the city is aggressively trying to recruit 250 new officers by this time next year. This would bring the total to more than 1,800.

Bryant insists the city is safe, even if the perception is that it’s not.

“Are we a safe city? I would say absolutely we are a safe city, we’re absolutely. The likelihood of you walking down the street and getting shot is very low,” said Bryant.

Bryant also says about 17% of crimes in Atlanta are being committed by juveniles. APD is working with the juvenile court systems and others to bring that number down.