Mayor Bottoms issues seven administrative orders on police use of force

Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has issued seven administrative orders regarding the Atlanta Police Department’s use of force policies.

Bottoms said in Aug. 5 press briefing that the Use of Force Advisory Council had submitted 33 recommendations. She said the council had done an extraordinary amount of work in 45 days and had received input from officers, the community, and national experts. The mayor created the council in the wake of the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

“The collective effort underway with the Atlanta Police Department (APD), our community and partners to reform our City’s use of force policies will continue to position the police department as a national model for modern policing,”  Bottoms said. “Thank you to the members of the Use of Force Advisory Council for developing a roadmap that will help strengthen APD and build trust between law enforcement and our communities.”

The Mayor’s seven Administrative Orders address 16 of the 33 recommendations outlined in the report.

  • The first Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to work with APD to develop a plan for officer training and non-retaliation language regarding an officer’s duty to intervene when seeing another officer using unreasonable force.
  • The second Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to work with APD to engage with the Atlanta Citizen Review Board (ACRB) to: 1) develop an internal memorandum of understanding / standard operating procedures that outline a clear process to constantly and effectively coordinate investigatory data exchange and communication of disciplinary action, 2) evaluate potential actions APD could take to collaborate with ACRB to improve community awareness.
  • The third Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to work with the City Attorney to develop a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that memorializes the commitment of the City of Atlanta with the Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative (PAD) and outlines a multi-year partnership to continue the work of the program.
  • The fourth Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to work with APD to compile public reports into a single public-facing platform for public transparency and to develop a dashboard that shows APD’s use of force trends.
  • The fifth Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to collaborate with APD and coordinate with the ACRB to develop recommendations regarding:
    • How conflicts between APD and ARB disciplinary recommendations may be resolved;
    • Providing notice to ACRB of any changes to certain APD SOPs related to use of force within 30 days;
    • Expanding the ACRB mediation program.
  • The sixth Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer and APD to partner with Atlanta/Fulton County Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative (PAD) to develop a training rollout plan aligned to the PAD expansion across all Atlanta zones
  • The seventh Administrative Order directs the Chief Operating Officer to include the following in the top to bottom review of Atlanta policing:
    • A plan to solicit community input on reimagining the vision, mission and core values of the APD;
    • The creation of de-escalation requirements, outlining specific examples/tactics & creating a requirement to consider vulnerable populations when deciding to use force;
    • Recommendations on how to revise officer evaluation systems to incentivize eligible diversions and de-incentivize certain arrests;
    • A plan to work with APD, City of Atlanta, alternative response organizations, and other key stakeholders to develop an alternative response continuum.

A complete list of the Advisory Council’s 33 recommendations included in the final 45-day report is attached.

The full Advisory Council report can be found at this link.

Bottoms also said her administration continues to work toward addressing the controversy over the ‘water boys,” youth selling water at city intersections and off-ramps that has led to one child being killed, attacks on motorists, and unsafe behavior. She said recommendations on how to guide young people toward entrepreneurial jobs was forthcoming as well.

“We have seen a reduction in the number of young people selling water thanks to the guidance of APD, community partners, and parents,” Bottoms said.

The mayor said COVID-19 cases are still on the rise in Fulton County and city and encouraged first responders and essential workers to get tested at a new site at the City of Atlanta Wellness Center across from city hall.

Bottoms said $7.7 million in relief funds was being used to expand testing and hire contact tracers to address the spread of the virus. She also encouraged small businesses to apply for relief grants via ATLSTRONG.org.

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