ATLANTA — Last week, the Atlanta Police Department announced that homicides were down by 21% and shootings in general had decreased by 18% in 2023.
Zone One in northwest Atlanta, which leaders admit has faced a history of challenges with crime, was awarded for having the largest crime reduction rate in 2023.
Maj. Reginald Moorman, who oversees Zone One, has only been the zone commander for two years, but he has a personal connection to the area, which the Atlanta Police Department credits him for the role he’s played in his tactics of cutting down on crime.
Moorman is one of the few born and raised in Atlanta and grew up just a few miles from where the Zone One precinct is located, which is why patrolling the area means more to him than just a job.
“People know you. They know what you stand for, and they know they can count on you,” Moorman said.
Maj. Moorman showing 11Alive’s Brittany Kleinpeter where he grew up, right in the heart of Zone One in Atlanta.
He believes it’s a combination of community policing and community partnerships, combined with increased foot patrols, that have created a difference within the community.
“We have a strategic plan where we lean on our partners and make sure to connect with residents and business owners,” Moorman added.
11Alive’s Brittany Kleinpeter got a chance to join Maj. Moorman as he showed her where he performs foot patrol along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW and Joseph E Lowery Boulevard, two streets that have had problems with crime in years past.
“You want to make wherever you are safer,” Moorman said.
One business owner in the area explained just how critical Moorman has been to them.
“I have his card in my wallet. I call him, and he responds within a couple of minutes,” he said.
The owner of Philly’s Finest barber shop said he wasn’t surprised to hear that Zone One had seen a reduction in crime.
“I believe it if Major Moorman is in charge,” he said.
Community members say his policing has made all the difference in curbing crime in an area that’s seen the biggest drop in crime in any of Atlanta’s six zones.
“You know, it’s a thing in our community that policing and the everyday people don’t get along,” one business owner said. “That’s not true. Not true. Not true at all.”
Moorman said it’s about combining community partnerships with community policing.
“We decreased our crime by nine percent overall,” Moorman said.
Many said they believe he and his zone officers have made a difference in curbing crime because they care about connections.
“You do something that many police really don’t do anymore. It’s old-fashioned community policing,” explained one person.
Moorman said it’s about more than just patrolling the streets, but about giving his community and home more.
“You want the community you’re in to feel safe,” Moorman said. “This is my place.”