SOUTH FULTON, Ga. - The City of South Fulton passed legislation adopting 21st Century Policing policies into law.
The newly created city said it is the first in the nation to adopt the progressive policies that foster transparency and trust between officers and the community.
"As a police chief in the 5th largest city in the state, I do not have the luxury of distancing myself from what we are seeing nationally," South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows declared.
"Police departments that aren't willing to evolve from this point forward, they are going to be left behind because the public is insistent on change," the chief remarked.
The City of South Fulton officers will now be bound by law to former President Barack Obama's 21st Century Policing policies which came out in 2015.
They include among other things, mandatory drug and alcohol testing if an officer is involved in a deadly shooting or a fatal accident, creating a citizens’ review board, and releasing detailed crime statistics to the public.
South Fulton City Councilwoman Helen Willis and community activist Marcus Coleman both worked closely with the chief on the legislation.
"Some perceive me as anti-police. I am not anti-police, I am against bad policing," the founder of Save OurSelves said.
"Yesterday's unanimous vote by council speaks volumes, a true testament of the power of city government, local law enforcement, and community working in unison for the betterment of the community. And, let's be clear, this is not an attack on local law enforcement, more so a way for the City of South Fulton and it's police department to confidently state that in times of tragedy causing maiming and/or loss of life, their officers operated under sound mind and body," Colman concluded.
The six pillars of community policing include building trust & legitimacy, establishing policy and oversight, using technology and social media to communicate crime statistics, crime reduction, training and education, and promoting officer wellness and safety.
The community activist said it is his hope that Atlanta and other cities follow South Fulton's lead as criminal justice reform takes center stage in our cities.
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