Some Atlanta police officers -- especially those patrolling areas such as Atlantic Station and Home Park -- were spending more time responding to 911 calls than officers in other parts of the city.
But that should be fixed under a rebalance of beats, which has the Atlanta Police Department sending five new officers to the zone covering Midtown and Downtown -- Zone 5.
The department has spent a year or so redrawing the boundaries of its six police zones. Early Tuesday morning, the new maps took effect.
"Some zones are taking on new territory, while others are shrinking areas they will have to cover," police spokesman Carlos Campos said in a statement.
"The result is a redistributed workload that ensures officers across the six zones are able to respond to 911 calls, while also proactively working their beats to reduce crime."
Zone 5 -- which covers neighborhoods including Midtown, Ansley Park, Home Park, Georgia Tech and Atlantic Station -- has shrunk in size from 8.3 to 6.8 square miles. The zone will no longer include the Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. It's now part of Zone 6.
Across the city, a total of 12 beats were added -- increasing the number from 66 to 78 beats. A beat is a geographic area to which one patrolling officer is assigned per shift.
Zone 5 added one police beat, increasing the total number of beats in the zone to 12. The beats around Atlantic Station, Home Park and Georgia Tech were reduced in size. The beats covering Sherwood Forest and Ansley Park were increased in size.
As a result of the beat changes, Zone 5 will gain one patrol car and five additional police officers.
“Our ultimate goal is to ensure that the only difference our constituents notice is an improvement in service,” said Atlanta Police Chief George Turner in the announcement. “Some officers were stretched too thin, and we believe this redesign will provide relief to those officers. Meanwhile, the addition of new beats will assist greatly in ensuring adequate response to 911 calls.”
Police officers and 911 dispatchers "have been trained on the boundaries of the new beats to ensure a seamless transition," Campos said.
Campos said the city has added 477 new officers since Mayor Kasim Reed took office in January 2010. So far this year, the department has added 218 to the force.
To view copies of the zone maps, a Power Point about the plan and other documents, click here.
To determine which Atlanta police zone you reside in, visit here and click on the “Find My Zone” tab located at the top of the page.