Collaboration between the city of Atlanta and the Georgia General Assembly played a key role in driving down crime rates across the city and especially in Buckhead during 2023, according to Mayor Andre Dickens and Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns.

The mayor and speaker praised their partnerships during their speeches at the Buckhead Coalition’s annual luncheon at the St. Regis Atlanta hotel on Jan. 25.

Violent crime dipped more than 20% in Atlanta in 2023. Homicides were down 21% across the city and down 36% in zone 2, which includes Buckhead, the mayor said.

The mayor repeated his phrase, “Atlanta is a group project,” and said the partnerships between the Atlanta Police Department and agencies including the Georgia State Patrol and Georgia Bureau of Investigation were critical in making the city safer.

“Overall, we’re very proud of the progress that we have made together,” he said.

Burns, who was elected speaker last year, praised Dickens’ willingness to work with state officials to tackle public safety and said the drop in violent crime in Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, was “extremely promising.”

“Buckhead now leads Atlanta in overall crime reduction,” he said. “Have we accomplished everything that we want to accomplish? The answer’s no, but we’re certainly moving in the right direction.

“And it’s my opinion that this is a direct result of policies and partnerships from both the state and the city level,” Burns said.

Burns noted his promise last year, approved by the General Assembly, to set aside $1.3 million in the state budget for a new Georgia State Patrol post in Buckhead. The new facility will be built on the campus of the Governor’s Mansion on West Paces Ferry Road.

“This will allow an additional 30 state troopers to have more focus on this area,” Burns said. “They will be here making sure their presence is felt in this Buckhead community.”

The state is also fully behind the construction of the controversial Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, Burns said to applause.

The Buckhead Coalition is an influential, invitation-only group of more than 100 area business and community leaders led by Chair Eric Tanenblatt and President and CEO Jim Durrett.

Its annual luncheon is also invitation-only and attracts many of the city’s top business and civic leaders. Nearly 200 people attended the Jan. 25 event. Those attending included numerous elected officials such as City Council President Doug Shipman, Fulton County Commissioner Chair Rob Pitts, members of the Atlanta Board of Education and members of the General Assembly.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect the amount invested in the new Georgia State Patrol post. It’s $1.3 million, not $1.3 billion.

This storu comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta.