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Defund the Police? Following the Death of a Little Girl, Atlanta Area Eyes the Addition of a Private Security Force

If you Defund the Police, does funding different police mean you triumphed?

It’s a question some may ask in Atlanta.

According to WSBTV, on Saturday, a 7-year-old girl died in the heart of Georgia.

Horrifically, she’d been struck by a bullet in the back of the head.

The shooting occurred near Phipps Plaza — in the Buckhead area — days before.

As reported by The Daily Caller, on December 22nd, Atlanta District 7 councilmember Howard Shook lamented it was “obvious that the civilian authorities do not control the streets and cannot provide even a token feeling of safety beyond our front doors.”

He had fierce words for the (higher) Powers That Be:

“To the administration, I don’t want to hear the word ‘uptick.’ Stop minimizing our concerns by telling us that ‘crime is up everywhere.’ Spare us from the lie that the steady outflow of our officers isn’t as bad as it is. And please, not another throw-away press conference utterly devoid of game changing action steps.”

In the aftermath of the little girl’s murder, Atlanta Police confirmed to NBC: There’s been a homicide spike.

Atlanta Police Officer Steve Avery laid it out:

“As of the end of the week 52 reporting period we are at 154 homicides compared with 99 for the same period of 2019,” Atlanta Police Officer Steve Avery said. “That is an increase of 61%.”

Such a surge has come, of course, following Mayor Keisha Lance-Bottoms’s expressed support — in the aftermath of the Rayshard Brooks shooting — of a view into defunding the police (which she characterized as a reallocation).

The Caller notes the incident didn’t encourage officers:

Following Brooks’ death, Atlanta police officers’ morale was low, with officers calling out sick and refusing to show up to work after the involved officer was charged with felony murder for shooting Brooks after he allegedly tried to hit the officer with a taser.

Per Atlanta’s Channel 2, councilman J.P. Matzigkeit proposed an idea: In Buckhead, a privately-funded security force could assist Atlanta PD.

“We have to tackle this,” he insisted.

“I have said that we are at war with crime, and we need to act like it.”

On Monday, councilmembers Howard and J.P, along with Matt Westmoreland, announced the allocation of $125,000 worth of municipal funds to The Buckhead Security Plan.

Here’s Howard:

“Buckhead has a very robust and organized business community, and they saw the need to expand into the public safety vacuum created by the city.”

TDC deals the details:

The plan would use “supplementary security patrol for commercial areas using extra-duty law enforcement officers, and creating a coordinated security patrol of residential areas by engaging the private security units already operating in Buckhead neighborhoods.”

Partnering organizations would be responsible for cost analysis, management and funding issues. The plan would also include more surveillance cameras and license plate readers, along with a crackdown on “party houses,” and an increase in support for hiring, training and retaining Atlanta Police Department officers.

Will it help?

Hopefully so.

It seems to me such a thing shouldn’t be needed.

A government that can’t protect its residents with organizations already in place may do better to fix the organizations rather than add to them.

But for now, at least, whatever must be done to stop another child from being killed while riding in the car with her aunt…is far superior to another falling victim to crime.

There is no greater failure than a society’s inability to protect its most innocent.

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