Security Cameras Help Protect Atlanta's Party Area

Jan. 2, 2007
Buckhead area gets cameras as private industry and police join forces

Atlanta, Ga. Dec. 22, 2006 - Data from recent crime report in Buckhead-Atlanta, shows that crime is down in the city. This report focuses on what the community has done to lower crime, and how other cities can experience the same results.

Recent crime analysis for 2006 from the Atlanta Police Department (Beat 205, in Buckhead), shows that crime is down in several categories. Residential robberies in this area were down by 80%, Auto theft is down by 46%, and larceny to vehicles is down by 39%.

If we compare statistics from this area, to the year before in these categories and more, you would see a significant drop in overall crime, by 33%! Buckhead area residents and property owners are pleased with these numbers and the comparative results from the recent improvement projects within the city. Buckhead has achieved these results from applying a unique method of deterrence, in order to stop crime.

In the past, Atlanta, Georgia had earned a bad reputation by being unable to handle the enormity of crimes being committed within the city. Too few officers, ineffective patrol, and lack of enforcing codes, such as under-age drinking in the area's most visible "party place" (Buckhead), lead to Atlanta crime statistics on the rise.

Atlanta real estate developers saw this as a big problem. Buckhead property owners saw the crime statistics and city conditions as a definite connection to vacancies and slow property sales. Seeing the effects that the growing crime rate had on the city, a small group of investors set out to make changes for the better, and to put Atlanta back on the map, once again. The Buckhead Alliance was formed for this purpose.

The Alliance was composed of a few private members with big goals to set the city on a renewed path. Big players, like Robin Loudermilk, whose headquarters are located in Buckhead for Aaron Rents stores, helped initiate a response from investors and residents alike, and solicited private funds for beautifying and protecting the city.

One of the key elements to making the city safe again was to install digital surveillance into the local area that could be monitored by police. The city of Atlanta was never involved in funding the camera project; however, they did agree to post officers in the command center where the camera footage could be monitored, 24 hours a day.

President of Aaron Rents, Robin Loudermilk stated "The Buckhead Alliance raised private funds to cover the cost of cameras, but the entire city benefits from their installation, by way of crime prevention. This never would have been possible if it weren't for the Buckhead Alliance group raising the funds for the benefit of the city."

Multiple cameras have been installed and mounted in places such as atop of high rise buildings in Buckhead, and arranged to cover areas of concern, such as dark alleys and dim parking lots. Several other cities have used the Buckhead Alliance security project as a model for their own city's security plan, such as Midtown, Atlanta and Athens Georgia.

The Atlanta Police have signs posted around Buckhead, stating the phrase "Be seen in Buckhead, 24 hour police monitored surveillance, Stealth Video, Keeping Buckhead Safe". The alliance believes that visible signs raising awareness of the monitored surveillance, towering sky buckets, and an active community interest is having a positive effect on the city's reputation, and is effectively lowering crime.

The drop in crime has made a noticeable difference to members of the Buckhead Alliance, as well as the city's residents. Due to the joint efforts of the Alliance members, things have started to look up for Buckhead-Atlanta once again.

Atlanta Police Sergeant R.S. Johns was quoted as saying "The Buckhead Project and Stealth Security cameras have been credited with recording much needed video footage, as well as helping stop crimes before they were even committed. If other cities could come together in this manner to help stop crime, they could also experience these positive results, just as Buckhead did."

When old- fashioned community involvement is paired with high-tech digital security measures, it makes a difference in the safety of a modern city. Though Atlanta, Georgia was once an unlikely example of crime deterrence methods, it now exhibits a new formula for crime prevention, and sets an example for others to follow.