Mayor Kasim Reed Outlines Summer Public Safety Plan
Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 29, 2016
Mayor Kasim Reed Outlines Summer Public Safety Plan
Plan focuses on reducing seasonal crime through flexibility, partnerships and emphasis on community presence
ATLANTA – In a briefing this morning, Mayor Kasim Reed outlined the public safety summer operations initiative created by the Atlanta Police Department (APD). This plan focuses on suppressing seasonal crime based on current and historic crime patterns within the City of Atlanta through a three-pronged approach of maintaining flexibility and an ability to move resources quickly based on emerging needs and crime trends; establishing the Gun Violence Reduction Task Force, which includes partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies; and an enhanced visibility and community presence.
“Public safety is my number one priority, and over the past six years of my Administration, crime in the City of Atlanta has dropped by 24 points,” said Mayor Reed. “The summer of 2015 was tough for our city. Today, our message to Atlanta’s residents and visitors is that we are completely focused on preventing and reducing crime this summer. We will meet this goal by maintaining flexibility and by working in close collaboration with our federal, state and local partners, by focusing on gun related violence and making continued investments in our public safety departments.”
Mayor Reed was joined by APD Chief George N. Turner, Atlanta Fire Rescue Deputy Chief Randall Slaughter, Department of Corrections Chief Patrick Labat and Chief Operating Officer Dan Gordon. Representatives from six federal and local law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Attorney’s Office Georgia Northern District, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms were present at the briefing. These agencies will offer significant contributions in incident response and follow-up investigations, as well as federal prosecution on qualified cases.
As part of the FY17 budget, Mayor Reed announced a total of $12.5 million in compensation increases for public safety employees, including Sergeants, Lieutenants and rank and file officers in the Atlanta Police Department and mid-career officers in the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. These compensation increases will make APD a more competitive employer, keeping experienced and knowledgeable officers living and working in the City of Atlanta.
The Gun Violence Reduction Task Force, known as “Operation Whiplash,” will operate with approximately 45 discretionary uniformed officers who will actively patrol targeted areas with an emphasis on gun related crimes. Approximately 20 additional uniformed officers will assist in gathering intelligence and addressing community concerns. Finally, six SWAT officers will assist through an emphasis on traffic enforcement.
Community-oriented policing is the third component of APD’s summer operations plan. The Community-Oriented Policing Section (COPS) Enrichment Program is a partnership with the Police Athletic League (PAL), the School Detective Section (SDS) and Camp Best Friends, a summer program run through the Department of Parks and Recreation. This program will serve approximately 200-250 children each day, on top of those already served by the City through its summer enrichment and employment programs.
“We know that community-oriented policing is an essential part of promoting public safety and reducing crime. That’s why the City of Atlanta offers programs to keep young people engaged in creative and constructive summer activities,” added Mayor Reed. “Camp Best Friends will serve 2,800 young people this summer, and through the Atlanta Workforce Development Agency we will offer summer employment to an additional 3,900 young people. At our Centers of Hope, kids and teens can enjoy a free, hot meal while participating in character-development and educational programs that supplement their education. When we invest in children and teens, we are not only investing in public safety and strong communities, but investing in a generation of kids who will go on to lead long, meaningful lives.”Re-opening all recreation centers and Centers of Hope in the City of Atlanta was one of Mayor Reed’s most important campaign promises, which he fulfilled in his first term in office. Since that time, Mayor Reed has sought opportunities for public-private partnerships to renovate and upgrade the Centers of Hope, including a partnership with the Atlanta Hawks Foundation to renovate teen rooms and basketball courts at four centers. This summer, the City is working with the Georgia Department of Childhood and Early Learning (DECAL) to offer free summer meals to low-income children who live within the City of Atlanta. The Centers of Hope provide more than 148,000 hot meals and 155,000 snacks to children and teens each year.
For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed