The Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, also known as Cop City, is an 85-acre police and firefighter training center in Atlanta. The facility was approved for funding in June 2023, but the massive center has sparked a polarizing debate among city officials, activists, and lawmakers. Located in DeKalb County, an area with a large African American population, protestors worry that the training ground will lead to more hostile policing in the area. Anti-Cop City activists say that the project is a waste of money and that construction could cause environmental damage. They believe that funding could be used for other pressing needs to better the lives of residents in the Peach City.
Lawmakers in favor of the facility believe that Cop City will reimagine law enforcement training and equip officers and firefighters will the tools and resources they need to protect and serve Atlanta’s diverse community.
What will Cop City do for the City of Atlanta?
Despite heavy opposition and pushback from city activists, Cop City, a $90 million project, was passed with an 11-4 City Council vote in June. Construction for the training center is currently in progress. It’s expected to be complete by quarter four of 2024, according to the facility’s website.
Situated near Constitution and Key Roads, Cop City holds historical significance as it was the site of the City’s previous law enforcement training center and served as the venue for APD’s tactical training for more than three decades.
The training center will feature an Emergency Vehicle Operations Course for imparting safe driving techniques to firefighters and police officers. It will also include a laboratory dedicated to the development and testing of technological innovations, a training fire station, a simulated streetscape to replicate real-world crisis scenarios faced by law enforcement officers, and a leadership institute where police and firefighters can extend their knowledge of law enforcement management.
Beyond the emphasis on tactical training, the Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) will prioritize cultural awareness and community knowledge training that will teach participants effective tools for policing a diverse city and key ways to build trust with community members.
Activists and lawmakers have been protesting against the facility.
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