Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Evander Holyfield Joins State Senator Kasim Reed to Unveil Blueprint for Restoring Public Safety in Atlanta

/PRNewswire/ -- Answering the surge in violent crime, most recently the tragic murder of former world welterweight boxing champion Vernon Forrest, State Senator Kasim Reed (D-Atlanta) launched today "SECURING ATLANTA: A Blueprint for Restoring Public Safety in Atlanta." Sen. Reed, a leading candidate for mayor, was joined by Atlanta resident Evander Holyfield, former heavyweight boxing champion and longtime friend and mentor of Mr. Forrest, along with state legislators, faith and community leaders, and Atlanta residents who have been the victims of violent crime.

"The senseless acts of violence plaguing our communities cannot stand," said Sen. Reed. "The horrific murder of Vernon Forrest is a great loss for our city. All too often, we wake up to tragedies like these happening across our city. We can and must do more to put an end to this crisis. We must stand together, take back our streets and make them safe again. Our SECURING ATLANTA public safety plan is a blueprint designed to make our city safe and secure."

SECURING ATLANTA is a comprehensive plan to tackle the growing problem of crime in the city. The plan includes increasing the existing size of our police force with 750 additional police officers, establishing a dedicated revenue stream for public safety, updating our technology such as adding more surveillance cameras, improving officer retention by restoring step increments and making salaries more competitive. SECURING ATLANTA also takes a holistic approach to reducing crime by addressing other contributing factors such as the importance of revitalizing our neighborhoods, giving our young people greater opportunities and addressing the escalation in gang activity.

Evander Holyfield, a four-time world champion who grew up in Atlanta, is concerned about the crime in our city and the effect it has on the quality of life for all Atlantans. "When I was a kid, the worst thing that could happen was a split lip when two guys got into a fight on the playground," he says.

"People nowadays have no respect for human life or personal property - we've got to get a handle on this before it gets out of hand."

A full copy of the SECURING ATLANTA blueprint is available at

Those present at the press conference included Evander Holyfield, former World Heavyweight
Boxing Champion and longtime friend and mentor to Vernon Forrest, State Senator Vincent Fort (D-39), State Senator Nan Orrock (D-36), State Representative Kathy Ashe (D-56), State Representative Rashad Taylor (D-55), Sidney Hand, Atlanta resident and carjacking victim and Gilmore Keith Gilmore, Atlanta resident and burglary/property crime victim.

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