Mayor Bottoms Issues administrative orders geared to transforming Atlanta Police Department
Mayor changes use of force policies and calls for comprehensive look at how we police in Atlanta
ATLANTA—Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms issued two new Administrative Orders related to transforming the City of Atlanta Police Department. The first order calls for the adoption of reforms regarding the Atlanta Police Department’s use of force policies. The second order calls for a comprehensive review of how policing should be handled by the City of Atlanta.
“We are taking a top to bottom review of how we police in Atlanta,” said Mayor Bottoms. “These Administrative Orders will help accelerate our efforts to transform public safety within our city.”
Administrative Order 2020-18 directs the Interim Chief of Police to immediately adopt and implement changes to the standard operating procedures and work rules of the Atlanta Police Department concerning their use of force. The immediate reforms include:
Intervening in unreasonable use of deadly force: requiring officers to intervene when seeing another officer using force that is beyond what is reasonable under the circumstances, and reporting deadly use of force to the on-duty supervisor;
Shooting at moving vehicles: provide lawful restrictions on when an officer may use deadly force at a suspect who is in a moving motor vehicle;
Addressing officers’ response to resistance: apply de-escalation techniques to gain voluntary compliance and use only the amount of objectively reasonable force necessary to successfully protect themselves or others during an arrest or to bring an incident under control when dealing with members of the community, suspects, and detainees; and
Reporting deadly use of force: require the reporting of all uses of deadly force by a police officer to the Citizens Review Board.
Administrative Order 2020-19 directs the Chief Operating Officer to coordinate with the Interim Chief Procurement Officer to engage professional service providers and organizations that are experts in modern police techniques to provide Mayor Bottoms with a comprehensive set of recommendations concerning how policing should be handled in the City of Atlanta. Expert providers will examine subjects such as what situations are appropriate for police to respond to, how police officers are trained, and how to reduce unnecessary interactions with the police.
In addition to these administrative orders, Mayor Bottoms recently issued an Administrative Order to convene an Advisory Council comprised of community members and partners to examine the City’s use of force policies and procedures. The Advisory Council will make recommendations for operational and/or legislative changes to the City’s existing use of force policies.
Since taking office, Mayor Bottoms has implemented a number of actions to reform Atlanta’s criminal justice system. including the elimination of cash bail bonds, equipping all officers with body cams, and closing our city jail. She has also reduced the Department of Corrections budget by nearly 60%, with more reductions coming this week.
Mayor Bottoms also worked with the City’s Department of Corrections and Department of Watershed Management to establish the City’s Preparing Adult Offenders through Treatment and Therapy (PAT3) program to assist prison inmates with finding jobs.