Georgia : Safety by City
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Tucker, Georgia is a charming small town right on the perimeter edge of the Atlanta metro area, combining two worlds into one simply separated by an interstate.
This is also a diverse community, bringing culture to what could otherwise be a simple town.
This diversity and access to transportation routes make it a great business climate for companies like Siemens and PepsiCo.
When you walk around Main Street, you’ll feel like you’re back in the 1960s, walking to get a milkshake with your best friend.
You can fish the day away at Henderson Park without having to leave the city limits.
Tucker hasn’t been a city all that long and while there is a local government, the police protection comes from DeKalb County.
That makes getting exact crime statistics a little challenging when you go the official routes.
I’ve got a little more updated date for you using a different method.
The bonus of being in Tucker as a tourist is the access to Atlanta without having to worry too much about safety.
There are plenty of hotels.
Look for hotels labeled as being in Tucker or Northlake, which is the city right across I-285.
This is also a community recovering from the pandemic while growing to accommodate modern customers.
For example, the Northlake Mall, listed as one of the top tourist destinations in Tucker by the Georgia Economic Development Department, is actually one of those malls that went belly up.
Now, the city is re-inventing that area to bring it back to life.
We’d love to hear in the comments what’s happening in that mall area when you visit.
Warnings & Dangers in Tucker
OVERALL RISK: LOW
There's a low risk in Tucker, but there are some areas to discuss. The FBI collects crime information from local agencies and presents it publicly once a year. However, since Tucker is just part of the DeKalb County area, numbers for the county wouldn't suffice. What I did was look at the crime map on the police department's website and select crimes that would concern tourists. Are the numbers perfect and detailed, as if the FBI presented them? No. It is updated to 2022 when the latest data from the FBI is 2020.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
Transportation here is incredible. You have a MARTA bus stop here to get you into the city of Atlanta. As of mid-2022, the bus lines still reflect pandemic levels of access, but there will likely be more MARTA options by the time you visit. Taxis and rideshares are easily accessible and since you're right at I-285 and I-85, it's easy to get wherever you want. There's a low risk, but with any public transportation stops you'll want to use caution when waiting for the bus.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
From November 2021 through April 2022, there were 107 thefts. Compared to other cities I've researched, that's a low risk. This is more of a residential area with a few spots for people to gather, so there's not an ongoing risk of being pickpocketed.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: LOW
You'll face risks of thunderstorms that can be very severe with high winds and hail. Tornadoes are also a risk. People here are used to these weather events, but if you aren't, it can be very scary. There are emergency management plans and tornado sirens to help keep people safe. Tornadoes don't just surprise you - there's plenty of warning about the potential.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
In the past six months, there were just four robberies, so there's a low risk of getting mugged. The number of assaults was 129, which could be robberies turned into fighting, but there's no documentation trail of that. It's just a good reminder to not fight back if someone tries to rob you. You don't want to risk getting hurt or losing your life over money or a mobile device.
TERRORISM RISK: MEDIUM
All of the Atlanta areas are going to be at a medium risk because of the huge population and the disruption a cyber or physical attack could cause on this transportation hub.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Since this is a more residential community, the scams happening are going to be against the residents, not tourists.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
Women should feel safe traveling here with low risk. To be transparent, there were 15 sex crimes in the past six months. However, those numbers don't differentiate between a sexual assault or a peeping tom, or a flasher. This isn't a town with a lot of nightlife, so I'd avoid wandering around the streets at night looking for something to do. People here go to Atlanta for nightlife.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
DeKalb County takes great care of its tap water and makes sure there's very low risk when using it. It has passed all the requirements of the state and EPA for many years running now.
Safest Places to Visit in Tucker
I don’t want to build up downtown Tucker too much, but it is a quaint little area to wander around.
There are some stores and restaurants with facades that are definitely Instagram-worthy.
There’s a great all-day breakfast restaurant called Hot Betty’s.
Despite opening during the pandemic, it is still one of the most popular in town.
There’s a full bar available as well.
There are fried chicken restaurants and a brewing company in this area as well.
Henderson Park is the watering hole and gathering place for the great outdoors in Tucker.
There are six miles of trails to hike or bike and varying difficulty levels as this is a hilly piece of property.
There is a lake for fishing and a community garden.
John’s Homestead is another cool park to visit, with one of the oldest houses you can find in the entire county.
It was a home that belonged to John Johns (not a typo) and his family in the 1830s and still stands to this day.
There are several other buildings around the home built for the needs of farming throughout the next century or so.
Places to Avoid in Tucker
The crime maps show the west side of the city along Stone Mountain Freeway/Highway 78 has the highest crime rate.
That area is very population dense with a lot of apartments and neighborhoods.
That’s information from the 2020 numbers, but even looking at the live crime map now from the past six months (November 2021 – April 2022), there is a lot of crime along that highway.
Mostly car break-ins, simple assault, and theft.
People stay in Tucker to be close, but not too close to the city.
I wish I could tell you more about where to go in Tucker, but there’s not a lot more than the downtown area.
You will have a lot of the basic suburban amenities, like Target, Walgreens, HomeGoods, etc.
If you want to live in a place where you can play and party, Tucker isn’t the city for you.
There is even a noise ordinance so specific it limits how long a dog can continue barking before police are called.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Tucker
- You can buy packaged liquor on Sundays after 12:30 pm. That doesn’t hold for all of DeKalb County, but it’s a step forward for those who want to enjoy their Sunday with some spirits.
- There have been coyote sightings in Tucker. If you see one, you can call certified trapped in the area. You should know that a trapped coyote will be euthanized, not rehomed to a wildlife area. I’ve lived in many communities with coyotes and they want nothing to do with people, even when you can hear their howls after sunset. If you are traveling with small pets, don’t leave them outside at night unattended. I once worked with a guy who had two cats “disappear” and he suspected the coyotes got them.
- You’ll need a fishing license if you want to cast in the lake at Henderson Park. You can get that online at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources or find a location in town.
- With Tucker being along such great interstates, I said before, it’s easy to get around. However, it is not fast to get around. There is a lot of traffic here and throughout the entire Atlanta area. You just have to accept that insane traffic is a way of life here.
- If you want to take MARTA, you can go to its website and read the first timer’s guide. You’ll be able to purchase a pass online or know exactly how to buy a ticket on-site. I’m not a huge fan of taking public transportation as I prefer a car, but after reading the “how-to”, it seems pretty simple to get a ticket and ride all day around Atlanta without sitting in that awful traffic.
- If you do drive a car around Atlanta, don’t text and drive. The law says you can only touch a mobile device if you are using the GPS. Otherwise, you must be hands-free with all your mobile communication. Trust me, you want as little distraction as possible in Atlanta traffic as people drive very aggressively.
- There are two precincts for the DeKalb County Police in Tucker. If you want to learn more about how the county keeps the community safe, call the non-emergency number at (678) 406-7929.
- Thefts have been on the rise in the Atlanta area, according to DeKalb Police, so be sure to take proper safety steps, like avoiding leaving your purse in the child’s seat area of a cart. I had a friend about to travel internationally to go grocery shopping and her purse was stolen in a dash-and-grab right in front of the produce section. It ruined her holiday plans since her passport and license were gone, and to this day I will not leave my purse in the cart.
- Sign up for CodeRED alerts through DeKalb County. You’ll get notifications about severe weather or countywide emergencies. It’s a free app that is very helpful when traveling.
- I’ve been asked a few times in my writings if there are hurricanes in Atlanta. Even the DeKalb County Emergency Management has a hurricane section on its website. Since Atlanta is so far inland, it won’t get a direct hit from the storm. What it does get are the evacuations of people leaving the shorelines and the aftermath of a storm that moves inland. This can lead to power outages, heavy winds, saturating rainfall, and potential tornadoes spawned by the remnants of the hurricane. You most likely won’t get a hurricane in Atlanta, but a storm could be a downgraded tropical storm as it hits part of the area.
So... How Safe Is Tucker Really?
You don’t want to judge the safety of a city by if it has its own police force or if the county takes care of that.
That’s a local legislative decision.
There are two precincts in Tucker, so there’s no reason to think there isn’t good police work going on here.
It’s a safer area that is highly residential.
The highest number of crimes is going to be burglaries or items taken from local residents, not tourists.
Since the hotels in this area are all grouped along the interstate, you should assume there will be thieves looking for someone who forgets to lock the door on the mini-van or wait for someone to leave their bags unattended outside.
In the six months referenced above, there were 27 car break-ins within a two-mile distance from the center of Tucker.
You shouldn’t have concerns about visiting here, but definitely treat this as more of a home base, and don’t expect Tucker to be a location that is going to keep you entertained for days.
How Does Tucker Compare?
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|La Paz (Bolivia)||52|
Your Visa needs to be shown to Homeland Security and Border Patrol when you enter the United States. That's the only time you'll need it. Otherwise, use your passport to prove your ID when checking in or buying booze.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar here. Be sure your bank knows you'll be traveling and it's a good idea to set spending limits that would activate a fraud alert.
Summers are really muggy. Humidity averages around 70%. It's thick as soup some days and if you have curly hair you'll need something to tame that down or bring a hat. Winters are definitely cooler and less humid, but it can be 40°(F) one day with rain and 70°(F) and sunny the next. Dress in layers and bring a jacket.
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is 25 miles away and what's funny is Google Maps is telling me that it's going to take 35 minutes. It's going to take longer than that. Plan for an hour just to be safe.
You should make sure to have travel insurance that covers lost bags and cancellation fees. Make sure the policy is clear about car accidents or weather delays.
Tucker Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
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Georgia - Safety by City