will receive an estimated $1.8 million in federal Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant money over the next three years, allowing the department to hire 15 military veterans as officers. The new positions will allow the APD to reallocate existing personnel to create the “APD Path Force,” dedicated to providing security and patrols to the developing Atlanta BeltLine.
The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) announced its funding awards this week. The grant stipulated that the city match $966,075 over the three-year grant period.
The grant requires the Atlanta Police Department to hire military veterans who have served on active duty at any time period of more than 180 consecutive days, any part of which occurred during the period on or after September 11, 2001, and who has been discharged or released fromactive duty in the armed forces under honorable conditions.
In addition, as proposed in the COPS Hiring Program grant application, the Atlanta Police Department will partner with the Atlanta BeltLine project to implement the APD Path Force. The Atlanta BeltLine is a comprehensive revitalization and mobility project that will provide a networkof public parks, multi-use trails and transit by re-using 22-miles of historic railroad corridors circling downtown and connecting 45 neighborhoods directly to each other. It will include 22 miles of pedestrian-friendly rail transit, 33 miles of multi-use trails and more than 1,200 acres of newparkland.
The portion of the BeltLine running through south Buckhead traverses the Howard Property, “Cathedral Woods,” and Bobby Jones Golf Course in Atlanta Memorial Park, completing a gap between the existing trail in Ardmore Park and another that terminates at the intersection of Northside Drive and Woodward Way.
The APD Path Force will be comprised of 15 officers tasked with law enforcement within theAtlanta BeltLine footprint. These 15 officers will work in partnership with public, private and other City of Atlanta departments to develop long term initiatives that will alleviate crime, increase the quality of life and develop security and safety ideas that will promote participation and patronageof the Atlanta BeltLine. Awarding of the grant will allow the department to move forward with hiring the veterans; although there is no date set yet for deployment of the Path Force.
“This grant award will provide 15 officer positions and will assist us to provide police services tothe city at large, while providing employment opportunities to those who have selflessly served ourcountry,” said Atlanta Police Chief George N. Turner. “I am pleased that we were able to securethis grant; it is a boost in helping us to reach our goal of becoming the safest big city in America.”