Fulton County sheriff 'reimagining policing' on 100th day in office

Marking his first 100 days in office, Fulton County Sheriff Patrick "Pat" Labat touched on partnerships between the Fulton County Sheriff's Office, the community and other law enforcement agencies that takes steps toward "reimagining policing."

Labat said the Fulton County Sheriff's Office is partnered with the Henry County Sheriff's Office to train approximately 1,000 police officers in de-escalation tactics.

"We want to lead in that space," Labat said. 

Policing has been under a microscope in the U.S. in the wake of deadly police shootings caught on camera.

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Labat said the sheriff's office is leveraging partnerships with the Fulton County District Attorney's Office, Solicitor General and local hospitals to share ideas about police reform. 

"We have to be laser-focused on mental health," Labat said. 

Labat said that mental health focus carries over to re-entry programs for former inmates. The Fulton County Sheriff's Office is expanding programs to help acclimated offenders to life after prison. 

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"The entire county — we will be full speed ahead in making Fulton County the best place to work, live and play," Labat said, concluding his address.

Labat said the county is completing a review of the North Fulton County Jail, currently closed, when asked if it could be re-purposed from over-crowding. 

Labat said the jail requires hundreds of dollars in funding for it to be restored up to standards. 

"We are working to see what that looks like," Labat said.

The jail can hold up to 68 people, Labat said.

During the first 100 days, Labat's office saw a budget enhancement of $6.8 million approved by the county commission that provides a salary adjustment for deputies and detention officers.

There was an addition of body-worn cameras throughout the jail. The Board of Commissioners and County Manager are currently conducting a feasibility study of the crowded jail. 

Labat is increasing law enforcement with the implementation of a crime suppression team that is still in training but will soon be active, according to officials. 

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