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Safer Streets, Brighter Futures

The Con⁠t⁠roversy Surround⁠i⁠ng A⁠t⁠lan⁠t⁠a’s Publ⁠i⁠c Safe⁠t⁠y Cen⁠t⁠er

By: Gabriel Nadales / June 24, 2024

Gabriel Nadales

National Director, Our America

Safer Streets, Brighter Futures

June 24, 2024

In 2021, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced the construction of a first responders training facility, designed for use by firefighters, EMTs, and police officers. The facility will include several classrooms, community rooms, fire training facilities, and traditional tactical training courses.

The purpose of this center is clear: to ensure that Atlanta’s first responders are thoroughly educated and trained to better protect the residents of Atlanta while improving relations between community members and first responders.

Every professional, especially those who serve and protect Americans, like the police, should be trained to the highest possible standards. This is common sense, a sentiment shared by the public, with polls indicating that there is widespread support for the training facility—60% of Georgia voters support it, while a mere 12% oppose it.

Despite the clear importance and broad support for the facility, radical activists have made it their mission to stop the construction, resorting to violence in the process. In 2022, seven protesters were arrested, most of whom were from out of state, after someone threw a Molotov cocktail at police.

The violence continued in 2023 when 23 anarchists were arrested after attacking the police, including individuals from France and Canada. Notably, only two of the protesters arrested were Georgians.

These anti-police activists have been using guerrilla tactics to fight the police. Yet, despite this, some extremist publications claim that stopping the training center is a fight to protect democracy.

Ironically, their actions demonstrate why training centers like the Atlanta Public Safety Center are so crucial. This center is not just about tactical preparedness; it’s about fostering trust and cooperation between the police force and the community. Proper training can lead to better judgment, improved decision-making, and more compassionate responses in high-stress situations.

Moreover, a well-trained police force can more effectively address the concerns and needs of the community it serves. The inclusion of community rooms and outreach programs in the facility’s design shows a commitment to engagement and transparency.

The disruption caused by these extremist protesters highlights a critical issue: the need for resilient, well-prepared first responders who can handle both everyday incidents and extraordinary challenges. By obstructing the construction of the training facility, these activists inadvertently underscore the necessity of such an institution. The safety and well-being of Atlanta’s residents depend on it.

The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center is a step forward in ensuring that those tasked with protecting the city are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and community relationships necessary to perform their duties effectively and ethically. It’s an investment in the safety, security, and cohesion of the entire community.