When Clayton County residents were debating whether to pay a one-percent sales tax for MARTA in 2014, some opponents of the transit expansion cited fears of a crime surge.
A crime surge hasn't been seen -- at least not in MARTA Police statistics for Clayton County that the transit agency provided upon request Thursday. The statistics showed only two major crimes occurred on MARTA property: the theft of an iPhone and a passenger who threatened a bus operator with a knife. No one was physically harmed in either of the encounters. (County-wide crime statistics for 2015 were not immediately available from Clayton County Police Department, but we have submitted an Open Records request for them).
However, one promise that MARTA officials made to locals to address their security concerns was to open a MARTA Police precinct in Clayton. That promise is going to be fulfilled this week.
The new precinct will open in Clayton County across the street from Southlake Mall, at 1115 Mt. Zion Road in Morrow. The public is invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony and celebration from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday.
The precinct occupies more than 4,000-square feet. MARTA officials say it will further enhance the police department's presence in the county, where MARTA began offering bus service for the first time last year.
Numerous local and MARTA officials will be on hand for the ceremony, including Clayton County Commission Chairman Jeffrey E. Turner, MARTA Board members Roberta Abdul-Salaam and Jerry Griffin, MARTA CEO Keith T. Parker and MARTA Police Chief Wanda Y. Dunham.