Maj. Keith Meadows, the newly installed Atlanta Police Department Zone 6 commander, told Edgewood residents he's focused on the auto break-ins that have plagued the neighborhood.
The Edgewood Retail District, the neighborhood's anchor business center and a regional shopping draw, is particularly important, Meadows told members of the Organized Neighbors of Edgewood Monday at their February meeting.
That's because about 30 percent of all auto break-ins within Zone 6 are off Caroline Street, the main artery into the Edgewood Retail District, Meadows said.
"We're sitting down and looking at ways to try and curtail that," he said.
Zone 6 Auto-Related IncidentsPercentage Increase
2012 YTD Incidents
(Jan. 1- Feb. 11)2011 2010 Auto Thefts Up 37.7% 84 853 810 Auto Larcenies Up 1.79% 171 1,644 1,710
Part of that effort will involve more consistent staffing of the mini-precinct at the Edgewood Retail District, he said.
Zone 6 — which includes Grant Park, Candler Park, East Atlanta, Custer/McDonough/Guice and East Lake, among other neighborhoods — already has existing mini-precincts, such as the one in Little Five Points.
It also is opening a new mini-precinct at the Atlanta Medical Center on Boulevard as part of a larger, multi-pronged initiative aimed at improving that corridor.
Meadows said he wants to beef up the presence at APD's Edgewood Retail District operations, which runs out of the Target store there.
"I don’t know that I'll be able to staff it 24 hours," Meadows said. "I just know it hasn’t been manned consistently and we're trying to take a look at that."
Taking the reigns leadership at Zone 6 is a homecoming of sorts for Meadows who grew up in southeast Atlanta, specifically in the East Atlanta neighborhood, where his parents moved to in 1969.
His family opened and owns Meadows Mortuary on Flat Shoals Avenue.
"I grew up in East Atlanta," Meadows, a 26-year APD veteran, said, noting the neighborhoods that comprise Zone 6 have changed dramatically.
The Virginia-Highland neighborhood, for example, was "riddled with prostitution and drugs; it looked nothing like it looks now," Meadows said.
"I have a special place in my heart for Zone 6," Meadows said. "I'm excited to be back out here."