Atlanta Mayor to Hire 250 Police Officers After Homicides Surge 58%

ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 17: Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms speaks at a press conference on March 17, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia. Suspect Robert Aaron Long, 21, was arrested after a series of shootings at three Atlanta-area spas left eight people dead on Tuesday night, including six Asian women. (Photo by …
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Democrat Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms plans to hire 250 new police officers amid a reelection campaign after homicides surged 58 percent in 2020.

The mayor blamed the increase in Atlanta homicides in 2020 on the court system, which “effectively shut down, people lost jobs, loved ones died, and our crime began to spike.”

According to a report, “90 police recruits are currently in the pipeline, and that she is working with the City Council to enact a retention bonus for officers.” The department currently employs 400 officers under Bottoms’ authorized level.

Bottoms said the ability to finance the new officers will come from federal money given to the state from the coronavirus relief package.

She also plans to spend the funds on “crime reduction programs and two new centers in southeast and southwest Atlanta to improve community policing efforts,” noting the old facilities are “too small, too old and not up to technological standards.”

Additionally, Bottoms requested a “change in culture in policing,” expressing that support for police and “holding officers accountable for improper conduct” are not “mutually exclusive.”

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