Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens (Phil Mistry through Wikimedia Commons)

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens goals to rent 450 extra law enforcement officials to get the company adequately staffed and to fulfill town’s group policing aims.

To do that, he mentioned the division ought to goal to rent a minimum of 250 officers for the subsequent three years, in addition to attempt to enhance the retention charges of present officers.

“That’s about the place I feel we’re quick. And also you’ll begin to see and really feel (enchancment) at 250,” Dickens mentioned.

Dickens defined that given the division’s present staffing ranges, officers aren’t capable of cowl their patrols. He defined that some zones solely fill 11 or 12 of their 14 beats. The staffing scarcity can also be placing undue stress on the division’s crime lab, and is hampering investigations.

Flanked by members of his cupboard, Dickens mentioned a number of points with The Atlanta Journal-Structure, together with police staffing, group policing, housing and infrastructure.

Whereas the mayor acknowledged that the Atlanta Police Division was nonetheless understaffed, he mentioned the police are doing a superb job clearing crime, and cited their 72% murder arrest fee.

“Nearly all of the circumstances are being delivered to justice, however once more, I’m discouraged at the truth that there’s crime within the first place, that there’s this many homicides,” Dickens mentioned.

Dickens mentioned that many of the crime stems from gang-related points, medicine and robberies.

Dickens’ plan to scale back crime nonetheless hinges on group policing, involving constructing relationships with native companies and organizations.

“I wish to do community-based policing, which suggests getting out of your automotive to go stroll, and you’ll’t get out of your automotive should you’re already protecting extra floor in your automotive then you could, or the beat was designed for,” Dickens mentioned.

In an effort to increase group policing, the mayor mentioned he’s contemplating pay raises for police as a part of town council’s first price range cycle this summer time. For reference, town gave officers pay raises of as much as 30% in 2019.

Whereas different jurisdictions could provide extra pay, the APD has the sources to supply a satisfying profession.

Dickens described the APD as a “strong division” that gives participation in foot patrol, mounted patrol, SWAT, the bomb squad or drug activity forces.

The mayor mentioned he’s nonetheless contemplating whether or not to retain or exchange present Police Chief Rodney Bryant.

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