Inadequate Security in Atlanta

As the Atlanta police department prepares to lose more officers while a new wave a violent crime washes over the city, inadequate security in Atlanta has become an issue that cannot be ignored.

Have you been injured or attacked on someone else's property due to inadequate security? If so, contact Atlanta personal injury attorney Michael Lawson Neff at 404-531-9700 or email him at mneff@mlnlaw.com to schedule your free consultation.

On March 8, 2009, The Sunday Paper reported that Atlanta has only 1,615 police officers – and the majority of officers are required to take 16 hours off each month because of mandatory furloughs.

That's not to say that the city government isn't working hard to protect Atlanta's citizens. A 2009 report from the Atlanta Police Foundation states, "In 2003, the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Police Department, and the Atlanta Police Foundation committed to a force of 2,000 police officers by 2010. Since that time, force strength increased significantly, adding 351 officers to the ranks of APD. During that same time period, the violent crime rate decreased 39 percent… and Atlanta dropped from the third most violent city in America to sixteenth. The results speak for themselves."

However, the report ominously adds, "As of January 1, 2009… it is anticipated the department could lose approximately 15 to 20 officers per month to attrition and retirement. If this sustained loss occurs, APD could be operating at 2002 levels, when we were ranked the third most violent city in America, by July of this year."

In another bad sign, on March 10, 2009, Newsmax.com reported that Atlanta is now the East Coast's principal distribution hub for Mexican drug cartels. In 2008, federal agents seized more drug-related cash in Atlanta than in any other region. It's only a matter of time before the violence we're seeing in Mexico's drug wars spills over into the streets of Atlanta.

Adequate security has never been more important in Atlanta.

Businesses like hotels, shopping centers, apartment complexes, and parking lots have an obligation to provide adequate security for both tenants and guests. Owners know their property better than you do; therefore, they have a duty to protect you from hazards. This goes beyond putting down "Caution: Wet Floor" signs.

For example:

· A property manager is obligated to inform tenants of known ongoing criminal activity.
· Walkways and parking lots must be sufficiently lit at night.
· Other examples of inadequate security may include a lack of a perimeter fence around the property, an absence of security cameras, or negligent security guards.
· In general, a property owner must provide sufficient security for tenants and visitors.

If a business knows or should know that there is significant crime on its property or in the neighborhood, it must act reasonably to provide adequate security. And in some cases, a history of crime is not necessary for the victim to be rewarded compensation for damages. For example, in the case of Brookview Holdings, LLC v. Suarez, 285 Ga. App. 90, 645 S.E.2d 559 (2007), someone was murdered in a trailer park where there was a lack of prior criminal activity. However, the plaintiff (a tenant of the trailer park and relative of the deceased) won the case because the plaintiff was actually paying a security fee per the lease contract.

If you or someone you care about has been a victim of crime due to inadequate security in Atlanta or elsewhere, contact Atlanta personal injury attorney Michael Lawson Neff at 404-531-9700 or email him at mneff@mlnlaw.com to schedule your free consultation. If you don't act quickly, valuable evidence may be destroyed, and you may lose your ability to recover for your personal injuries.