New effort to keep city police officers on the force

- Not long ago, the city of Atlanta realized a trend downward in crime. That is not the reality today and homeowners from one part of town to another say they do not feel safe.

Depending on what statistical measure one uses, the Atlanta Police Department is 400 or more short manpower.

One of the main reasons is city pay has failed to keep up with the competition. Even the tiny force that patrols the city school system starts officers with higher salaries than the city department.

Michael Bond, a citywide council member, says he is building support to amend the current budget by reducing all departments by a small percentage to raise about $45 million dedicated to police salaries.

That is the amount called for in a compensation review commissioned by the Atlanta Police Foundation.

The councilman says the budget redo should easily raise up to $15 million per year to help turnaround the attrition problem that has plagued the department.

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