ATLANTA, GA — A civic group that wants a voice in police reform is putting its money where its mouth is: The Atlanta Police Foundation said Thursday that it will give $500 bonuses to all Atlanta Police officers. The group said in a statement it would also replace and repair more than 20 patrol cars damaged in recent protests.
The foundation, a nonprofit that partners private business with public safety, made the donations in the wake of turmoil from the George Floyd protests and the death of Rayshard Brooks.
The statement said that the Atlanta Police Foundation plans to “build a framework for police reform” to be presented in the coming weeks to Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and the Atlanta City Council. Until then, the statement continued, the foundation wanted to “stem attrition and boost morale” through its donations to the police.
“Our plan … will reflect the input of leading public safety experts, private sector leaders, and social justice leaders,” APF President Dave Wilkinson said in an email. He added that his group wanted to “propel Atlanta to the forefront of cities whose public safety operations are driven by data driven solutions, rooted in fairness and equal protection for all citizens.”
This is the first time the foundation has ever given a department-wide bonus, according to Atlanta Police Foundation spokesperson Kelsey Hull.
The foundation’s board is composed of prominent Atlanta business leaders. Its chairman is real-estate developer Robin Loudermilk, who also founded the Buckhead Alliance.
Hull said the foundation donated to “demonstrate appreciation for all officers who worked for three months during COVID and the demonstrations, committing selfless sacrifice to the citizens of Atlanta.”
According to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Police Foundation has also previously funded a video-monitoring system for city police, as well as a youth center and a wellness program for officers.
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