If there is one fundamental job that a Mayor must take ultimate responsibility for, it is public safety. That means ensuring safety for everyone in our city – every neighborhood and every resident. My approach to public safety will be holistic, comprehensive and reflect the lived experiences of all our residents.
- I will work with APD leaders to create and implement a strategic plan to address the current recruitment and retention problems within the department, and ensure that we can quickly move from our current level of 1,700 officers to the over 2,000 positions that are authorized. This will be critical to ensuring that our police force is prepared for the significant increase in population that will be moving into the city over the coming years.
- I will ensure that there is a quick and effective feedback loop between neighborhood leaders, residents, and my office about public safety and policing concerns. I will also create new metrics that allow the public to track how effectively my administration is responding to and addressing their concerns.
- The Mayor sets the tone and expectations for the Atlanta Police Department. I will partner with the Chief of Police to ensure APD enforces a department-wide culture of community service and respect for everyone – from providing crisis intervention and de-escalation training for all officers, to requiring implicit bias training for staff at all levels of the department, to evaluating the recent body cameras initiative.
As Mayor, I will strongly support the work of the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform and ensure implementation of their existing and future comprehensive policy recommendations. My administration will focus on reducing recidivism by connecting returning citizens with safe, affordable housing, and employment; and providing transition planning and wrap around support from job training and placement to mental health services through public-private partnerships. And by supporting pre-arrest diversion programs, the focus of our police department will be on serious crime, while nonviolent offenses that are associated with poverty and homelessness are diverted into social services.