A closer look at the plans for the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center

Atlanta News First is taking a deeper dive at what is actually planned for this area and who will use it.
The plans for the facility were green-lit in 2021 under the leadership of former Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant.
Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 6:29 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta’s Public Safety Training Center has been the center of controversy for years.

A lot of information has been spread about the plans for this site. Atlanta News First is taking a deeper dive into what is actually planned for this area and who will use it.

The Atlanta Police Foundation says the first phase of the training center is scheduled towards the end of this year.

A protest this past weekend over the police killing of a protester turned violent.

At the center of the debate is Atlanta’s Public Safety Training Center.

Critics who call it “Cop City” have concerns the facility will lead to further militarization of police.

According to the Atlanta Police Foundation, the center is not just for Atlanta police, but also for Atlanta Fire and Rescue and the community.

The foundation says the plan is to have Atlanta Police and Fire and Rescue train among the 85 acres of the 380 acres of city-owned land in Dekalb County.

There has long been pushback from those who share environmental concerns.

Activists with Defend the Atlanta Forest want to preserve the trees in that area.

The plans for the facility were green-lit in 2021 under the leadership of former Atlanta Police Chief Rodney Bryant. He says the site has a history of serving the region.

“I trained out in that area back in 1988, back when it was an active city prison farm,” said Bryant. “You had streets, you had buildings and once it was abandoned it just wasn’t kept.”

Atlanta Police Foundation says Atlanta police and fire training centers were on the property until the mid 90′s.

An Atlanta Police Foundation video showcases a 12-acre emergency vehicle operations course, a mock city for real world training, including a burn tower and shooting range.

The video also highlights kennels, horse stalls for mounted patrol, green space and an amphitheater for events.

“The facility itself will also be amenable to the community as well,” said Bryant.

Atlanta News First reached out to Atlanta Police about the concerns of militarization and what specific training will take place at this site, they referred us to the Atlanta Police Foundation website.

Atlanta News First also reached out to the Atlanta Police Foundation for a comment about the training to take place at the site and they referred us back to Atlanta Police and the city.