The Atlanta Police Department has investigated 50 homicides so far this year, 20 fewer than this time in 2022. Still, police urge the public to help curb gun violence; 48 of the year’s homicide victims were shot to death.
“This is not just a police issue, it is a people issue,” the department said in a social media post. “Guns in the hands of angry or irresponsible people put the community at risk. You cannot put the bullet back in the chamber once it is discharged. Many have learned this the hard way.”
In 2022, the number of homicides in the city of Atlanta ticked up for the third year in a row, ending at 170, nine more than the previous year and the highest tally since 1996. The violence wasn’t unique to Atlanta, as cities around Georgia and elsewhere have also reported more homicides in recent years.
According to a report published last week in The Atlantic, homicides are down about 12.5 percent year-to-date in more than 90 cities that have released data for 2023, compared with the same date in 2022.
“We will continue to use all available resources to combat this issue and track down those who make our streets unsafe,” the Atlanta Police Department said. “Our investigators and officers will leave no stone unturned to find violent suspects and bring them to justice, but we cannot resolve this issue alone. We need people to make smarter decisions.”
Last week, the city and police department were awarded $1.6 million in federal funds earmarked for public safety.
“The city will always put federal funds to use—especially when it comes to keeping our communities safe,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “Every dollar spent keeping an illegal gun off our street or out of the hands of someone who should not have one is a worthy investment. We appreciate our state and federal partners for supporting our vision for One Safe City, where proactive public safety measures improve the quality of life for all Atlanta families.”
Citizens can help, police say, by not leaving weapons in unlocked cars, reporting crimes and resolving conflicts peacefully.
“How you manage conflict matters. How you secure your weapon matters,” APD said. “Whether it is mass shootings, weekend shootouts at the local bar, road-rage incidents, gang or domestic violence situations that turn deadly, the result is the same. These are people deciding to act unlawfully and without regard for the lives of others.”