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Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms Announces Next Steps to Reform Public Safety in Atlanta

City of Atlanta Announces Partnerships with Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and Urban Planning and Management, LLC.

ATLANTA—Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced a major step in the City's efforts to reform public safety in Atlanta by retaining the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) to conduct a "top to bottom" review of Atlanta Police Department (APD) policy and training. The City has also engaged a local planning and community engagement firm, Urban Planning and Management, to collaborate with PERF to ensure that all Atlantans have a voice in the development and review of reform policies.

"We are moving forward on our Administration's commitment to build lasting, healthy relationships between law enforcement and the communities they serve," said Mayor Bottoms. "Thank you to PERF, Urban Planning and all our partners for joining this collaboration to effectively reduce crime while building public trust."

PERF was established in 1976, to improve the delivery of police services and the effectiveness of public safety. Because of their long-standing commitment to progressive leadership in policing, PERF is relied upon by police leaders nationwide to provide critical management services and technical assistance. Their work will factor in continuous feedback to help inform policy improvements and training modifications over the course of their 18-month period of engagement.

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"We look forward to working with the police department and the community to identify ways to enhance public safety and make Atlanta a model for the nation," said PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler. "Through technical assistance, training, and collaboration we will focus on strategies to minimize use of force and reduce crime."

Urban Planning and Management specializes in planning and development work and has led effective efforts with the City, Invest Atlanta, the Atlanta Beltline, and Atlanta Housing. They will work directly with PERF and the City to establish a holistic strategy for ensuring Atlantans have a voice and input throughout the City's comprehensive examination and reform process. Their engagement will also review how community engagement can be integrated into the ongoing operations and practices of APD. Urban Planning and Management will also develop an outreach strategy to that focuses on communities that historically have been marginalized and negatively impacted by law enforcement.

"We are pleased to embrace this opportunity to work with Mayor Bottoms and her Administration on this important initiative," said Jesse Wiles, Principal of Urban Planning. "We have captured a diverse range of opinions to help inform how one of the most important issues facing our city and country will be addressed."

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The City's work with PERF and Urban Planning will build upon the reform recommendations submitted in July by the Bottoms Administration's Use of Force Advisory Council. As of August 5th, 2020, nine Administrative Orders related to those recommendations have been issued—five of the nine orders have been implemented and four are in progress.

In June, Mayor Bottoms issued an Administrative Order to convene the Use of Force Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to examine the City's use of force policies and procedures.

The full Advisory Council report can be found at this link. Further information on the Mayor's Advisory Council can be found at this link.

For more information on the Bottoms Administration's work on justice reform, visit our newly launched website: justicereform.atlantaga.gov.

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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta.stats

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