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Police, Beltline officials call neighbor’s Westside Trail crime concerns overblown

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The newest arc of the Beltline’s loop has logged zero reported crimes

The Atlanta Beltline’s Westside Trail, prior to its 2017 unveiling.
The Atlanta Beltline’s Westside Trail, prior to its 2017 unveiling.
Curbed Atlanta

A man living in what he calls a crime-ridden neighborhood in Southwest Atlanta seems to be wondering why nefarious activity wasn’t extinguished the moment the Beltline’s Westside Trail was completed.

On Tuesday, WSB published a story entitled, “Homeowner says his neighborhood is a haven for guns, drug deals next to Beltline.”

The Beltline loop will ultimately snake through dozens of Atlanta neighborhoods, some of which are—and will be, by the time concrete is poured—plagued by gangs, drug rings, and prostitution, as police acknowledge.

But as Joe Miller of Capitol View sees it, the Atlanta Police Department is doing a lackluster job of cracking down on crime in the area, including automatic gunfire he calls “a nightly occurrence.”

The wildly popular Beltline trail opened last September in Miller’s neck of the woods, and he—as others have in the past—worries that, “Patrols aren’t going to stop this kind of activity.” (He’s referring to APD’s task force charged with watching over the trail.)

“They’ve had a lot of neighbors provide information about what’s working, what’s not working, but also who and where the crime is happening and we’re not really seeing any additional resources in those areas,” Miller told WSB.

The activity Miller refers to doesn’t appear to be affecting the trail itself.

Zero crimes have been reported on the Beltline’s Westside Trail, according to Beltline spokeswoman Jenny Odom.

“All of our trails and parks are patrolled by APD’s Path Force Unit,” she told Curbed Atlanta. “The Eastside Trail and Westside Trail have security cameras and the Westside Trail has lights.”

APD officials told Curbed in a prepared statement that Miller is incorrect about “what he perceives as a lack of action by our department.” Police have assigned special teams focused on narcotics and crime suppression to work the area, resulting in dozens of arrests and 23 narcotics search warrants between 2015 and 2017, police told WSB.

It’s worth noting that multiple people have been robbed on the Beltline’s Eastside Trail, in some of the city’s most affluent neighborhoods, but crime of any sort remains extremely rare for a public amenity visited annually by nearly 2 million people.