ATLANTA (CW69 News at 10) — The homicide rate is up in Atlanta, and so is the number of arrests, according to the Atlanta Police Department. APD officials joined Mayor Andre Dickens for a press conference on Thursday, to release details on some significant arrests made and their ongoing efforts to bring repeat offenders and fugitives to justice.
Dickens and police officials recently announced a collaborative strategy to crack down crime, and they said the effort is paying off. The mayor said the department had seized a total of 284 firearms.READ MORE: Environmental group's annual sunscreen guide released
APD data shows homicides are up by 40% this year, but police say they’re doubling down to arrest repeat offenders and fugitives through a partnership with other local, state, and federal agencies.
“We do this in collaboration and understanding that criminals have no boundaries,” said Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant.
APD released the following data showing how arrests have increased since last year:
- Aggravated assault arrests up by 18%
- Murder-related arrests up by 283%
- Robbery arrests are up by 47%
- Pre-arrest diversions are up by 46%
“Those stats should show solid police work and solid community work together,” Dickens said. “Atlanta has the best police force in the nation.”
APD’s Fugitive Unit arrested 57 fugitives between March 12 and April 7, 2022. Most of them are repeat offenders, and 12 suspects were charged with murder. According to Bryant, collectively, the suspects have been arrested more than 365 times.READ MORE: Wingstop could soon raise its own chickens
“What we do not want to forget is that there are 57 families who are victims behind these perpetrators,” said Assistant APD Chief Darin Schierbaum.
Their significant arrests include Antonio Locklin, who has 37 prior arrests and is now charged with Aggravated Assault. They also include Brandon Williams and Demetrice Ross for a homicide near the Beltline.
In another significant arrest, Imani Spears was the second person taken into custody for the shooting death of Lakevia Jackson, 31. Jackson was shot in a parking lot over an argument involving a bowling ball. Police had previously arrested Joshua Fleetwood in the case.
APD reports that 88% of their homicides involve the use of handguns, and 40% have resulted from escalated disputes.
“I would just encourage the criminals within the city of Atlanta to turn themselves in if you have a warrant out for your arrest. Save yourself the hassle of us coming and looking for you, because we will find you,” said Lt. Brandon Puetz, head of the Fugitive Unit.
During the press conference, police officials thanked the community for its role in providing tips and videos to help catch criminals.MORE NEWS: Target Posts A Drop In Profit, Stock Plunges
The fates of the arrested fugitives and repeat offenders are now in the hands of the courts. Dickens said he will soon release information on a program allowing residents to follow court cases as they move through the system.