District 3 Council member Antonio Brown introduced legislation during Monday’s meeting requesting the Council’s Public Safety/Legal Administration, Community Development/Human Services, and Finance/Executive committees conduct a feasibility study and compile comprehensive recommendations regarding the creation of the Department of Public Safety and Wellness within the City of Atlanta to formally coordinate and direct public safety and wellness efforts.

The legislation has 10 co-sponsors.

“The legislation being introduced is centered on creating a more collaborative and coordinated effort to address the complexities of public safety and wellness in Atlanta,” Brown said. “We have an opportunity to set a national example and create a model for other cities across the nation to follow.”

“The streamlining of emergency and non-emergency functions under a newly formed Department of Public Safety and Wellness will allow for a more efficient and cost-effective way to address issues of major crimes and non-emergency matters. This effort will help build greater trust between law enforcement and the community and create a stronger bridge toward safety and security for our city’s most vulnerable populations.”

One of the stated goals of the legislation to establish the new department is to increase community safety and address concerns over a lack of accountability and transparency between law enforcement and the public.

The legislation notes that the three Council committees will consider the establishment of the new department to consist of a newly formed division, offices, and positions, as well as the establishment of the role of the commissioner for the department to report directly to the mayor.

It also states that the committees will hold no less than two work sessions with community partners and organizations, experts in public safety, and the public regarding the formation of the department.

“We appreciate the incredibly difficult work of the men and women who make up the Atlanta Police Department and the Atlanta Fire and Rescue Department and are committed to retaining and better supporting our officers who have committed to the highest standards of service. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has worked in her administration to reimagine policing in the City, and it is of the interest of City Council that these recommendations be included in the ongoing work being done to reimagine public safety and wellness,” Brown said.

(Photo: Stephen Payne)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.