Here’s my Atlanta Police Department (APD) case number (080011828) for that particular moment in time when some thug tried to jack me up at gunpoint. It was New Year’s Day, 2008, at the Ansley Mall Bank of America drive-up ATM on Monroe Drive, right in the heart of the quite lovely 30324 Ansley Park neighborhood, surely one of the toniest zip codes in the entire city of Atlanta.
I’m curious to see just how APD classified that particular case. Surely they would have marked a case involving a weapon to the face of a woman alone as “violent” wouldn’t they?
Given Mayor Franklin’s and Chief Pennington’s magical thinking and now-shrill insistence that violent crime is down so much in intown Atlanta, the cop who responded to my panicky 911 call (a relatively concerned cop I should add) likely just checked ye olde “Generic Crimes” box and never thought about it again. Maybe “Assault” at best. Honestly, I don’t know how APD would have classified that particular crime, but, again, I’d sure like to find out.
And yeah, I got away from my attacker… only because he was really really stupid (is there any other kind?) , and I am a quick, reflexive action-taker when under attack. Plus, I was in a car and thus plenty faster than my would-be assailant was once he decided to exit his own vehicle and approach mine.
I instantly and instinctively put my own car in reverse and got the hell outta Dodge, totaling my built-like-a-tank Volvo wagon in the process, but I escaped unharmed. I got lucky… if you can even begin to label the deep and extreme trauma caused by a masked assailant screeching up in a car in front of you to cut you off at a drive-up ATM then jumping out waving a gun in your face as anything remotely approaching “unharmed” and “lucky.”
To APD though, unless someone’s lying dead on the ground with casings everywhere, nary a hair on anyone’s head was harmed, so I’m quite certain that particular crime stat wouldn’t make it to any category containing the word “violence.”
As for the mayor’s claims about Atlanta police staffing numbers and crime stats, seems a veteran APD officer has something contradictory to say about all that crazy talk. From the AJC guest op/eds for Friday, February 20, 2009:
Mayor Shirley Franklin wants to hush neighborhood community outrage over her recent dismantling of public safety in Atlanta and justify her budget cuts and furloughs of our firefighters and police officers by whitewashing reality (“Atlanta is ‘safer now than it has been in decades,’ ” @issue, Feb. 12).
The mayor continues to brag about having 300 more officers since 2001. She doesn’t talk about the 1,000 officers who have left our department because of poor management under Chief Richard Pennington and annual reductions in police officer pay and benefits since 2001. Most of our officers have seen a reduction in pay totaling over 30 percent during her administration.
The department lost over 170 officers last year and is already on target to exceed that number in 2009. Her comment that “the city is reasonably staffed” is not acceptable to our officers nor should it be to the citizens of Atlanta. The mayor’s statement that crime is down 7 percent this year conflicts with current statistics from Command Operations Briefing to Revitalize Atlanta, a computerized crime tracking system. It shows crime down 4 percent this year, but up 12 percent for the last two years.
Full op/ed here.