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South Atlanta residents upset over crime ranking

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ATLANTA -

Residents who live on the south side of Atlanta are upset that their community was ranked the ninth most dangerous neighborhood in the country. They're stepping up to defend their neighborhood and organizing residents to form civic associations.

"This neighborhood has its challenges. But we are working. It is a safe neighborhood. Not as safe as it will be. Not as safe as it can be," Michael Langford, the president of the United Youth Adult Conference.

Langford gathered residents and leaders in the south side of Atlanta to set the record straight about the place they call home.

"We've got those who travel from one side of the city to the other one to come in southeast Atlanta and commit some of these crimes," said Rosel Fann.

Crime on the south side has led newscasts lately. Joshua Watson was shot and killed while walking home from a bus stop on Christmas Eve, and a Price Middle School student was shot on campus in late January.

Langford says his group responds to crime in the community.

"We've mentored, had volunteers going into Price Middle School, which is in this area, for the last 10 weeks," Langford said.

Horace Holt passed out fliers about a community rally that will take place at the church on Wednesday.

"Trying to get folks to come out and be supportive," Holt said.

Holt works for a security firm and has worked with Atlanta police to keep the neighborhood safe.

"You know crime is not that high over here. Crime is everywhere, but over here, it's not like that. You've got crimes that's in Buckhead that might be a little worse than this," Holt said.

More than 100 people are expected to show up for Wednesday's rally at Macedonia Baptist Church in southeast Atlanta.

A representative of the Atlanta Police Department is also slated to attend the event.

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