DeKalb County

Some neighbors of proposed APD training facility say they feel excluded from decision-making process

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Residents living near the site of the proposed Atlanta Police Department training facility hosted a block party Saturday to express why they disapprove of the project.

The block party welcomed groups against the public safety training facility with free food, music, and entertainment for families who will live next to the center.

Attendees told Channel 2′s Courtney Francisco that they felt excluded from the decision-making process regarding the facility’s construction since the beginning.

“I would love to see cop city take a second look at what they’re doing and what they’re leaving out because they’re leaving out so much more,” resident Jimlia Ruffin said.

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The proposed facility has been the center of several heated incidents, such as one in January that resulted in the death of protester Manual Teran when he was shot and killed by a Georgia State Trooper after the Georgia Bureau of Investigation says he shot a trooper.

Another confrontation in early March resulted in over 30 individuals being detained after police told Channel 2 Action News they branched off a music festival and began shooting fireworks at officers and setting construction equipment on fire.

“Every part of this project has been scrutinized and has been found to be fully compliant with the law and all environmental protection requirements,” Mayor Andre Dickens said during a rally held in favor of the facility in April.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden attended the rally in April, where community leaders such as Ambassador Andrew Young said the facility is a good addition to the community.


“We have to provide training for the young men and women who are keeping us safe, and that requires space; it requires the kind of operation we have here,” Young said.

Dickens also assembled a task force in April that will decide how to best use the land. He added that the task force will be made up of experts who will get ideas from neighbors.

“If people have ideas, they will be able to go to this task force and say, I have thoughts about what a good park would look like in this area,” Bryan Thomas with the City of Atlanta said.

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Crews are in the early stages of beginning work on the facility. It is unclear when it could be completed.

The next tactic the group plans to do in an attempt to disrupt the building process is to speak at Monday’s Atlanta City Council meeting.