Atlantic City's new mayor targets drugs, crime on Atlantic Avenue

ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- A new mayoral administration is bringing new crimefighting strategies and new hope for merchants along Atlantic Avenue in Atlantic City.

It was dinner time Tuesday and at Shamshad Khan's Pakistani restaurant we were his only guests.

"Every year the business is going down, down, down," Khan said.

He's been in Atlantic City on Atlantic Avenue for seven years and has watched crime and drugs ruin things.

But he's never understood why the culture of it all has been tolerated.

He's feet from a beach, some of the biggest resorts on the coast, outlet shopping too. There's a major highway into town and an airport. He sees so much potential.

But he also said, "The security and the safety of the visitors are the first thing."

Well, this has been said in Atlantic City before, but someone has a plan to make some changes: Atlantic City's new mayor, Marty Small.

"It's not acceptable in any other downtown, why should it be acceptable in Atlantic City?" said Small.

He has all the aspirations of a new mayor and is adamant on clearing out drugs and crime on Atlantic Avenue.

"This isn't a Band-Aid approach. This is a thought-out, task force approach," Small said.

Merchants confirm they've seen officers on every corner, the last two weeks, making arrests.

Lydia Roman of 4M Fashion said, "It's beautiful! It's getting people coming, the tourists. I've seen it! I said what happened to all these drug dealers? I think they've all be caught!"

It's given owners like Khan some hope.

"If the police will handle these crimes, it will get better," he said.

Small says this is just the beginning.

"We're going to take this same concept that we have here, into the neighborhoods during the summer," said Small.
Copyright © 2022 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.