Atlanta community wants a divorce from city amid crime spike
Buckhead Exploratory Committee CEO Bill White said up to 90 percent of residents in Buckhead have ‘irreconcilable differences’ with Atlanta.
Bill White is leading an effort in his community to separate from the city of Atlanta. White, CEO of the Buckhead Exploratory Committee, joined FOX Business’ Ashley Webster on "Varney & Co." to discuss the residents’ motivation to gain independent cityhood for Buckhead.
"We have filed for divorce," White said. "When you file for divorce – if you believe in marriage like we do – you try to work it out. You try to have people listening at the table to the concerns. But when you have irreconcilable differences, it's time to do something about it."
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"We feel like the great people of Buckhead have been exploited for way too long."
Buckhead, known for its tree-lined streets, historic landmarks and thriving culinary and shopping scene, is one of the most affluent areas of Atlanta. However, crime has increased significantly as respect and funding for police declines, according to White.
"The crime is out of control because we have no leadership," White said. "And living in Buckhead right now, everybody's living in fear."
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White says Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms’ policies created this problem.
"The criminals feel like they're emboldened because there is no leadership from the city. The mayor has said we're not going to arrest shoplifters, we're not going to chase carjackers."
Buckhead resident on decision to break from Atlanta: We’re living in a war zone
Bill White, CEO of Buckhead Exploratory Committee, says surging crime led residents to push for their own police department.
"We’re living in a warzone," he said.
If granted independence, residents plan to create their own, properly funded police force for the city of Buckhead.
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"[Police] just want to be allowed to do their job and put the smackdown on this crime. And that's what we're going to do in the Buckhead City Police Department."
White estimates that nearly 90 percent of Buckhead residents would vote in favor of the separation.
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"We're going to make it a great city and hopefully an example for Atlanta and maybe an example for the country."
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