Dunwoody wants to avoid a Ray Lewis incident, says Mayor Mike Davis.
Public safety was a central component in Davis’ State of the City speech, Tuesday, at the Crowne Plaza Ravinia.
“It’s so important that Dunwoody be viewed as safe,” Davis said. “All you have to do is look at what happened in Buckhead not that many years ago, and the Ray Lewis incident. Buckhead basically had to implode itself…”
Below: The Mayor's comments on crime, roadwork and apartments.
Davis referred to a Buckhead stabbing death in 2000 following that year’s Super Bowl, and the Baltimore Ravens star’s trial. The incident was brought back into the headlines during the recent NFL playoffs when Lewis announced his retirement and the Ravens advanced to the Super Bowl.
The 2000 incident was as much a culmination of reckless activity in Buckhead as it may have been the cause of its downfall. For Mayor Davis that perception lives 13 years later while the Perimeter area is the jewel of Dunwoody.
“All of a sudden [Buckhead] went from a fun safe place to go and have dinner and drinks, [and] a lot of clubs, to being a dangerous place. And once that happens to a city, the only thing you can do is what Buckhead has done, which is basically flatten an entire area and start again,” Davis said.
To target crime, Davis said Dunwoody police have been aggressive with repeat offenders. In 2012, he said 619 arrests were made and 6,686 citations were issued.
In addition 6,500 incident reports, 11,000 business checks and 4,500 residential checks were completed.
Separately, Davis reminded the crowd how Dunwoody incorporated to control its own destiny and has since resurfaced more roads over the last four years than Dekalb has in the entire county, he said.
“As the Mayor of the city I find myself in an interesting quandary,” he added.
As a conservative, Davis said he generally doesn’t believe in taking money from the government. “But if you don’t someone else will,” he said.
Dunwoody received $640,000 from the Atlanta Regional Commission for paving sidewalks on Chamblee Dunwoody Road and $3 million from the Georgia Department of Transportation to synchronize traffic lights in the Perimeter area.
In stormwater projects, Davis said the city has fixed 20 miles so far of stormwater piping. “We have 69 miles of underground piping and most of it is 30-40 years old and that’s about as long as it lasts. So we are taking care of it ourselves,” Davis said.
The Mayor also expressed concern over Dunwoody’s 52 apartment communities and a potential “spiral.”
What were once luxury apartments is where police spend much of their time today, he said. They are targeting one complex per month for violations.
“It’s forcing owners to keep up quality so the spiral doesn’t begin,” Davis said.
On the other hand, the Mayor said the housing bust has brought former homeowners to apartments. “So we’re getting a better quality of resident…and apartment complexes are being kept up in better quality,” he said.