According to a press release from the City of South Fulton, the rate of violent crime in the area is decreasing. Police say that an increased focus on the core issues at the center of violent crime has led to a decrease in the murder rate by nearly half.
From January through June 2021, the city investigated 11 homicides. In the same timeframe this year, six murders have been reported – a decline of 45 percent. Detectives have made arrests in five of those cases.
“Most violent crime stems from gang and drug activity,” said Police Chief Keith Meadows. “By focusing on these areas, we have been able to drive down violent crime by double digits in the previous three years.”
From 2019 through 2021, South Fulton’s violent crimes – murder, rape, assault, robbery, burglary, theft, auto theft – dropped by 42 percent. Meadows attributes the drop to strategic focus on known gang members as well as operations in areas they are known to frequent.
His department’s narcotics squad has conducted numerous successful raids in the last year, including one that broke up a drug superstore in a warehouse on Fulton Industrial Boulevard. Some of those operations were conducted around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, when drug activity has spiked in recent years.
Meadows says using the nationally accepted CompStat model to closely follow data to build strategies helps his department identify key trends as well as areas where crime occurs more often.
“CompStat provides us with a way to accurately and quickly identify parts of the city where a majority of serious crimes happen,” Meadows said. “Using that information, we can deploy resources to those problem areas.”
Introduced by the New York City Police Department in 1994 CompStat allows police to collect, analyze and map crime data as well as tract other police performance measures, ensuring accountability at all levels within an agency. Some have called it the single-most important innovation in modern policing.
Following the model, different units provide weekly computer analysis reports of crimes, calls and results. That data is placed on maps to show where crimes regularly occur. Department leaders attend weekly meetings, where they must report the findings of their analysis.
“The process fosters a team approach to problem-solving and ensures we maintain a focused and unified vision in correcting quality of life issues,” Meadows said. “By working together, we ensure a safer community. That’s what we strive to do every day.”
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