Thursday, January 20, 2022
ATLANTA—An increase in violent crime has spurred a movement in Atlanta’s wealthiest and whitest neighborhood, Buckhead, to push harder to secede and create a new city with its own police force. The idea, which has been gaining momentum over the past year, is raising alarm among Atlanta officials worried about a loss of population and tax revenue.
The Republican-majority state legislature, which just opened its 2022 session, is taking up proposed legislation this month for a referendum on Buckhead cityhood. Politicians in largely Democratic Atlanta oppose the idea.
Bill White, chief executive of the committee pushing Buckhead cityhood, said Atlanta hasn’t done enough to stem violence, car-thefts, drag-racing and other crimes that surged beginning in 2020, during the early stages of the pandemic and after civil unrest followed Black Lives Matter protests.
“They really don’t care about Buckhead,” Mr. White, said about city officials. “They just want the money.”