City leaders attend town hall meeting on east Atlanta crime - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

City leaders attend town hall meeting on east Atlanta crime

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ATLANTA -

Dozens of people gathered in East Lake on Monday for a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and others about growing crime in the area.

The town hall meeting was focused on around Atlanta's District 5, which includes the neighborhoods of Kirkwood, Cabbagetown, East Atlanta, East Lake and others.

The area has experienced a recent surge of crimes, including the murder of Patrick Cotrona, who was shot during an armed robbery in East Atlanta, as well as the shooting and robbery of a 22-year-old who was walking home from a Braves game.

One big concern has been teen offenders committing crimes with the help of older criminals. Mayor Reed said that compassion is needed to rehabilitate first-timers, but a hard line is necessary for repeat offenders.

"When folks have been arrested 20 and 30 and 40 times they need to go," Reed said.

The mayor says cracking down on crime is a priority. He pointed to increased patrols in neighborhoods where crime has surged recently.

Reed assured the crowd that more police resources are coming, saying that he's increased the force by 800 officers since taking office and promising 90 more police officers on the streets by January.

"I think we've invested more in public safety than any administration in the history of the city," Reed said.

The mayor says dangerous crime in the areas of concern is down 17 percent since he took office.

Reed pledged that he'll hold more face-to-face town hall meetings.

The Atlanta Police Department said that two more meetings are planned in the near future; one in the Ormewood neighborhood, the other in southwest Atlanta.

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