Members of the Atlanta City Council said at Tuesday’s meeting they were concerned about reports – and their own experiences – with celebratory gunfire during the New Year’s holiday.
New Atlanta Police Chief Erika Shields, who was also officially confirmed by the council during the meeting, said the city’s 911 system was “inundated” with calls of gunfire, fireworks and traffic accidents on New Year’s Eve and the early morning hours of Jan. 1.
No arrests were made for celebratory gunfire, Shields said.
“There was an enormous amount of gunfire in District 1 during New’s Year Eve,” Councilmember Carla Smith said. “I received videos and I’m rounding up more.”
Shields said public service announcements (PSAs) to let residents know that celebratory gunfire is illegal and could result in an arrest for reckless conduct might help. The chief said more surveillance cameras could help and she also said she would investigate the use of sound technology that could help pinpoint the location of gunfire.
Smith said she believed PSAs should be generated not only for New Year’s, but Fourth of July and Memorial Day.
Councilmember Felicia Moore said she was concerned about reports of 911 calls going to voicemail and long wait times on New Year’s Eve.
“The 911 call volume was exceptional,” Shields said. “I’ll find out how many went to voicemail. If it’s more than one or two we need to approach it differently.”