Atlanta police say officers at training center were lawfully deputized

Atlanta mayor calls for task force to guide development of public safety training center.
Atlanta mayor calls for task force to guide development of public safety training center.(Atlanta Police Foundation)
Published: Mar. 9, 2023 at 5:46 PM EST
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - The Atlanta Police Department has responded to concerns about which agencies have jurisdiction over the future site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center.

The site is in DeKalb County and is being built by the non-profit Atlanta Police Foundation, not the Atlanta Police Department. This has led many to question why Atlanta police were deputized against the protests that occurred Sunday. These included Atlanta City Council member Liliana Bakhtari.

The Atlanta Police Department released the following statement:

“The Atlanta Police Department is conducting ongoing law enforcement activities at the construction site of the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. APD is acting as part of a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional law enforcement task force led by the Georgia Bureau of Investigations. APD is providing support per the security plan mutually agreed upon by the City of Atlanta and DeKalb County. Some Atlanta Police Officers supporting these activities have been deputized by the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office. Atlanta Police Officers are all POST-certified law enforcement officers. POST-certified law enforcement officers have the authority to conduct arrests for violations of the law that occur in their presence, regardless of jurisdiction. The site has been subject to unprecedented, ongoing and sustained criminal activity, including arson, property destruction, the setting of dangerous booby traps and illegal encampments. The criminal activity requires continual monitoring and law enforcement presence. The site itself is owned by the City of Atlanta and has been in continual use by law enforcement for decades.”

O.C.G.A. § 17-4-20 gives POST-certified officers the authority to arrest anyone for law violations that occur in their presence. This means that the officers did not need to be deputized to make any arrests.


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