ATLANTA, April 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, with the support of the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), announced expanded and accelerated measures to reduce violent crime and improve public safety in the City of Atlanta.
The three-pronged approach integrates crime fighting measures such as recruiting more officers with police training to ensure the city's men and women in blue are responsive to and prepared for the needs of Atlanta's diverse neighborhoods.
The ACP support builds on Mayor Bottoms' recently announced initiative, "One Atlanta: One APD Immediate Action Plan." That foundational plan has a dual focus on decreasing gang and gun violence, street racing, auto crimes and nuisance properties while also improving APD recruitment and retention, continuing police training and reform, expanding the city's security camera network and supporting neighborhood safety planning.
"Keeping all Atlantans safe is the top priority of my administration and we welcome the support and resources of our city's corporate, civic and academic leaders," Mayor Bottoms said. "The ACP support will strengthen our One Atlanta initiatives in three critical areas by adding more police officers and cameras and laying the foundation for a world-class training academy to ensure our police force has the best tools and resources available to protect our neighborhoods citywide."
Mayor Bottoms, with the support of the ACP, chaired by Cox Enterprises President and Chief Executive Office Alex Taylor, developed the following action items that can immediately bolster the plan put in place by the Mayor in January:
1. Hire 250 Additional Atlanta Police Officers
Continue building a strong applicant pool and increase the number of sworn Atlanta police officers by 250 in FY 2022 to help enhance overall safety for all and beef up patrols in public places that have seen spikes in crime. This is tied to ongoing work to decrease attrition, offer incentives and improve morale in the police department. The ACP members pledged to support the Mayor by helping the department with recruiting and retention tactics.
2. Build the Atlanta Public Safety Training Academy
Design and build a new, state-of-the-art public safety training academy through a public/private partnership with the Atlanta Police Foundation and the city's philanthropic community. Mayor Bottoms has asked Taylor to lead a capital campaign to seed the initial private funding for the project, and he has accepted. As envisioned, the project would require three funding streams: City of Atlanta bonds, new market tax credits and private/philanthropic support. Mayor Bottoms is committed to ensuring APD officers have the resources they need and are trained in the most up-to-date methods of community policing, including de-escalation tactics and cultural awareness.
3. Expand the Operation Shield Network By 250 Cameras
Increase the city's security camera network by 250 to fill in citywide gaps in a fair and equitable manner. The City of Atlanta has more than 1,500 security cameras, as well as license plate readers, currently in operation that feed into its central Video Integration Center. These cameras serve as a deterrent to criminal acts and help investigators solve crimes that have occurred by identifying suspects. In addition, the security camera network helps police monitor large crowds, parades and other events, and can aid in situational awareness that prevents potentially deadly incidents before they happen. The ACP will help with funding to ensure the network meets the needs of the city.
"We are committed to working together for the common good to ensure we continue Atlanta's long track record of growth and innovation," Taylor said. "These actions help our city move faster in fighting crime while also ensuring our police officers have the additional training and skills required to serve and respond appropriately to the needs of all Atlantans."
The ACP is a long-standing partnership between the Mayor of Atlanta and the city's top business, civic and academic leaders to develop time-based, efficient solutions to issues that impact economic development and investment. The goal of the business roundtable is to accelerate Atlanta's competitiveness for attracting residents, businesses and investment, with a high priority on public safety, while expanding economic opportunity for all.
To read more about the "One Atlanta: One APD Immediate Action Plan," please visit https://justicereform.atlantaga.gov/
About the ACP
Founded in 2003, the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), is a public-private partnership, that has played a leading role in supporting major initiatives and policies, such as the launch of the Center for Workforce Innovation at Atlanta Technical College, the purchase of the papers of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the creation of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, and the enactment of City of Atlanta pension reform. The ACP is chaired by Alex Taylor, president and chief executive officer of Cox Enterprises and includes more than 40 highly engaged chief executive officers, university presidents and civic leaders who offer their expertise in service to Atlanta and its future development.
SOURCE Atlanta Committee for Progress; Cox Enterprises