Question of jurisdiction at planned training site raised at city council meeting

Questions are being raised about who has jurisdiction and arresting power in the planned site for the Public Safety training center.
Published: Mar. 7, 2023 at 7:07 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Questions are being raised about who has jurisdiction and arresting power over the planned site for the Atlanta Public Safety training center.

The city-owned property is located in Dekalb County and leased by the Atlanta Police Foundation.

Several Atlanta councilmembers raised questions about jurisdiction and police resources at Monday’s City Council meeting.

“Why do we have officers on location or firefighters on location if we have no legal jurisdiction on this property, it seems to me that that is a problem,” Councilwoman Liliana Bakhtiari asked the Atlanta Police Chief during Monday’s meeting.

Councilman Antonio Lewis also weighed in.

“I agree with Councilwoman Bakhtiari that we don’t have jurisdiction over there and so I’ll ask you the same question I asked you the other day, is there any place ever that the City of Atlanta Police Department has ever done this for any other organization?” Councilmember Lewis asked the Atlanta Police Chief on Monday.

Video released by Atlanta Police showed the chaos that unfolded at the training site Sunday evening.

The arresting agency was listed as the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, but Georgia Department of Public Safety said the majority of those who were arrested Sunday were turned over to both the Dekalb County Police and the Atlanta Police Department.

The GBI has said they are leading a multi-agency task force to clear the training center site for several months.

During the meeting, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum responded to the councilmembers questions about jurisdiction and the agency’s response on Sunday saying in part:

“As we craft our ability to protect against that, our ability to protect against that, it will be done in a matter that is legal and proper and under the law and using the resources that are just the proper amount to do what we have to do in that space. We’re not going to put extra officers in there that we don’t have to and I hope that video demonstrates why we even have to have resources there.”

Atlanta News First asked Atlanta Police Department about the law they are working under and if they have jurisdiction in that area.

The department referred us to the Mayor’s Office and City Attorney’s Office for the answer.

We reached out to the Mayor’s Office and the City Attorney’s Office and have not received a response.


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