Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced a plan to hire 250 new police officers in the next fiscal year beginning July 1.
Bottoms’ speech focused heavily on issues certain to be at the heart of this year’s mayoral election, including her administration’s response to crime and the anti-police protesting and rioting last summer.
The mayor faces a challenge this year from Atlanta City Council President Felicia Moore, who has served more than two decades on City Council and has said crime would be her top priority as mayor, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.
Bottoms said 90 police recruits are currently in the pipeline, and that she is working with the City Council to enact a retention bonus for officers. The department is about 400 officers under its authorized level.
The mayor also said federal money, including dollars from the coronavirus relief package will be used to fund crime reduction programs and two new centers in southeast and southwest Atlanta to improve community policing efforts.