In an effort to make the high-crime area of Vine City in downtown Atlanta more secure, five Atlanta Police officers will move into new, two-story houses on James P. Brawley Drive starting in mid-November.
The 2,000-square-foot structures, featuring around three bedrooms and two-and-a-half baths, were built through a partnership between home builder PulteGroup, the city, the Atlanta Police Foundation, the Atlanta Housing Authority, and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“We believe this is at the core of what community policing should be,” Dave Wilkinson, president and CEO of the APF, said Friday during a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the houses.
The five officers are the first of what officials hope will grow to a community of 20 to 25 officers over the next four years.
The announcement also comes as Mayor Kasim Reed is trying to encourage builders who receive public funding to set aside affordable housing for police officers, firefighters, teachers and families. As the economy has improved and more people move in the city, skyrocketing housing costs have made living in Georgia’s capitol increasingly unaffordable for some.
The new police homes include granite countertops, two-car garages, and large closets throughout. The five officers will buy the homes for about $145,000.
The officers hope their presence will provide not only a sense of comfort for the community, but will help build trust.