Atlanta mayor establishes Public Safety Training Center Community Task Force

Atlanta Public Safety Training Center
Atlanta Public Safety Training Center(Atlanta Police Foundation)
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:34 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:37 AM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Mayor Andre Dickens has established the South River Forest and Public Safety Training Center Community Task Force to seek further community input and expert recommendations on the training center and surrounding green space.

The more than 40 Task Force members will be assigned to a specific subgroup to study and make recommendations in four areas:

  • Parks & Green Space
  • Visioning, Memorializing, and Repurposing the former Atlanta Prison Farm Site
  • Sustainability and Resilience
  • Police, Fire and E-911 Training Curriculum

“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our vital public safety needs and establish the largest park the City of Atlanta would own,” Mayor Dickens said in a statement. “I want the community at the head of the table, sharing their expertise and aspirations. I look forward to receiving recommendations which will continue to inform the training center and the parks, trails and community spaces our communities can be proud of.”

The task force also included some groups that have been openly opposed to the project, like the NAACP.

“Our position is clear: it does not need to be built,” said Georgia NAACP President Gerald Griggs. “Hopefully we can focus on the concerns of the activists, the concerns of the community, the concerns of the families that have been affected by police violence.”

Initial members of the Community Task Force are as follows:

Attorney Gerald Griggs, Georgia NAACP

Bishop Kevin Strickland, Clergy

Blake Fortune, Community Member

Bonita Johnson, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Christopher Bruce, ACLU of Georgia

Cicely Garrett, Community Member

David Paull, CompostNow

Donna Stephens, Chattahoochee Brick Company

Douglas Blackmon, Author, Slavery by Another Name

Dr. Bryant Marks, AUC Staff, Morehouse College

Dr. Gerald Durley, Retired Pastor and Community Activist

Dr. LaToria Whitehead, LS White Group, LLC and Spelman College

Dr. Rashad Richey, Radio Personality

Dr. Volkan Topalli, Georgia State University

Dr. Yomi Noibi, Eco Action

George Dusenbury, Trust for Public Land

Greta G. deMayo, PATH Foundation Creator

Janese Coleman, Community Member

Jay Bassett, Retired EPA and Master Connector

Jill Savitt, National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Leo Smith, Interfaith Public Policy

Lewis Woodson, Community Leader and Park Advocate

Linda Adams, Community Member

Lisa Tuttle, Arts Exchange

Lynnette Reid, BeltLine, Inc.

Marc Bolden, Community Member

Michael Halicki, Park Pride

Michelle Blackmon, Grant Park Conservancy

Monica Thornton, The Nature Conservancy

Nina Cutler, Community Member

Rabbi Peter Berg, Clergy

Retired GSP John Prevost, Community Member

Rev. Gary Burke, Clergy

Robbie Hunter, Graymont Drive Neighborhood Association

Sabir Khan, Artist

Samyukth Shenbaga, Atlanta Regional Commission

Samuel Bacote, Community Member

Sheffield Hale, Atlanta History Center

Stacy Funderburke, The Conservation Club

Susan Evans, Atlanta Housing

Tsedey Betru, BeTru Consulting

Morieka Johnson, Community Member

The Community Task Force will begin meeting in April and provide an initial set of recommendations by July.

For more information on the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center and the South River Forest, click here.