Atlanta city leaders set to vote on funding for new public safety training center

Protesters pack city hall for controversial public safety training center funding vote
Published: Jun. 5, 2023 at 7:46 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 5, 2023 at 12:33 PM EDT
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ATLANTA, Ga. (Atlanta News First) - Atlanta City Council members will decide Monday if they will greenlight the last piece of funding-related legislation required for the development of the city’s future public safety training center.

Critics have been very vocal throughout this process, and a lot of them plan to show up Monday to speak during public comments before the vote.

Because of Monday’s controversial vote, city leaders have made some security changes. Most offices are closed so in-person services at City Hall are temporarily halted. Also, no gels or liquids are allowed in the building.

There have been numerous protests in recent months over what critics call “Cop City” – the site of Atlanta’s future public safety training center.

Their newest complaint is the cost -- a total of $67 million. The city says nearly half of that is basically a reallocation of funding because once they have a central site for training police officers and firefighters, they’ll no longer have to spend money on leasing a hodge-podge of buildings across town as training sites.

If Monday’s city council meeting is anything like the one a couple of weeks ago, there could be a number of speakers during public comments, most of them opponents of the project, which could extend the meeting well into the evening.

Monday’s city council meeting is scheduled to start at 1 p.m. at City Hall.

At a news conference Monday morning, members of the Young Republicans of Georgia spoke out against the project.

Royce Mann/Young Democrats of Georgia

“We have seen unprecedented engagement from citizens across the city, citizens in DeKalb, and supporters from across Georgia of this movement to stop what we see as a very harmful facility, both to the environment and when it comes to further supporting police militarization,” said Royce Mann, an Emory University student.

DeKalb County Commissioner, a former president of the Young Democrats of Georgia, said for him, the issue is mostly the environmental impact of the site’s development.

“Given the growing threats posed by climate change, preserving our forests and our watersheds is a necessity,” Terry said. “It’s not a choice.”

City to vote on funding for police training center