By Collin Kelley
Are more traffic patrols the answer to curbing burglaries and robberies in Buckhead? The Atlanta Police Department’s Maj. Van Hobbs, who oversees Zone 2, thinks so and had some statistics to share at Thursday night’s Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods meeting.
Hobbs said crime is down 12 percent in Zone 2, but he worked with Chief George Turner on devising a plan to have more street presence in the Buckhead area and to pull over more cars, even if the officer doesn’t wind up writing the motorist a ticket.
“We’ve taken our best traffic officers and put them on the streets,” Hobbs said. “More cars and flashing lights and people pulled over can be a deterrent.”
Hobbs said the new traffic team had issued 958 citations during the week of March 3 alone and recovered three stolen cars. He hopes to get 10 to 20 more officers in Zone 2 this summer and many of them will be put on traffic patrol and on bikes to patrol neighborhoods.
Hobbs also encouraged residents to be vigilant and support suspicious vehicles in neighborhoods. “We know the criminals are driving in here to commit these burglaries and robberies, so call them in,” he said.
In more sobering facts, Atlanta City Councilwoman Yolanda Adrean said Chief Turner had briefed the council earlier in the week on crime stats and said there were 481 criminals on the streets of Atlanta who had committed 7,000 crimes, but only seven of them are actually in jail.