Agreement Reached To Continue Construction Of Atlanta Police Training Facility

On Tuesday, Andre Dickens, Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, and Georgia’s DeKalb county CEO Michael Thurmond announced an agreement that the planned Atlanta Public Safety Training Center would protect the surrounding environment, increase local economic development and serve as a community resource.

“We will protect the neighborhoods, the families and most importantly, we will protect the South River Forest Basin,” Thurmond said.

According to Fox 5 Atlanta, “Mayor Dickens said the city met with a community stakeholder advisory committee over the past year before coming to this conclusion of what the future of the facility would look like. He said that committee consists of representatives from the most immediately adjacent neighborhoods in DeKalb County as well as Atlanta.”

“With their help,” the outlet reported, Mayor Dickens said the city has agreed that the “land owned by the city of Atlanta stretches over 380-acres. Just 85 of those acres would be used to house the facility. The other nearly 300 acres would continue to be protected green space, including trails, a ballparks and picnic areas. Dickens said the city is committed to not develop further on that space.”

“The development partner promised to replace any single hardwood tree that has to be taken down with 100 hardwood trees in another area,” the city agreed. “The development partner promised to replace invasive species found in the area with hardwood trees.”

The police training facility has been protested by violent rioters in recent weeks, who say that the project – which they call “Cop City” – would be environmentally damaging because it cuts down trees. 

“This facility will not be built over a forest,” Dickens explained. “The training center will sit on land that has long been cleared of hardwood trees through previous uses of this site decades ago.”

The rioters also say the police training facility will be used to practice “urban warfare.” However, Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith was also at the press conference to dispel such misinformation and remind the public that the facility is not just for police officers.

“Atlanta Fire Rescue is the largest fire department in the state of Georgia, and we employ over 1200 members,” Smith said. “We are in desperate need of a modern training for the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. In fact, we have been operating in a fractured state for the past 30 years.”

D & B Staff

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Episode 45