ATLANTA - A total of three Atlanta police officers over a 24-hour period will be at Grady Hospital to guard the floor where a suspect is receiving medical treatment.
The detail, which consists of one officer per shift, is not because of a high profile, especially dangerous prisoner. Not at all.
Why Atlanta cops are being pulled off the beat
Instead, the officers must play the role of security guard because the city staff that normally takes care of the detail has low manpower.
Atlanta councilman Michael Bond says it should not be happening.
Typically, after the arrest of a suspect, police would transport the individual in need of medical attention to the hospital. A jail officer would then be called to take over. The police officer could then return to the neighborhood beat.
But with the downsizing of the jail, and the redeployment of corrections staff, police are being assigned to Grady. And it can be for an entire shift.
What's being done to correct the problem?
The councilman used the word "inept" in describing the lack of planning surrounding the issue that is hurting police morale.
"These officers should be out patrolling," Bond added. "They want to be out patrolling. This is a self-inflicted wound."
The Atlanta Police Department released the following statement in response to the story:
The Atlanta City Detention Center (ACDC) is actively recruiting additional Corrections employees. The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is working in tandem with the ACDC to address the issue related to arrestees being treated at Grady Health; prior to admission into the city/county jail.
A request for a response from Atlanta City Hall has gone unanswered.