Atlanta Mayor Neutralizes Protesters' Concerns in Final Deal for Public Safety Training Center

YouTube / Fox 5 Atlanta

After months of controversy about the city of Atlanta’s upcoming public safety training center — which the left and Antifa domestic terrorists have nicknamed “Cop City” — Mayor Andre Dickens and DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond announced the final details of the deal for the training center in a press conference on Tuesday.

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Dickens announced details that many of us already knew about the project: that the city owns the land, which is located in unincorporated DeKalb County. Then he sought to “set the record straight about some of the misinformation that’s out there.”

The 85-acre facility will include areas for classroom training for police officers, including space for “de-escalation training techniques, mental health, community-oriented policing, crisis intervention training, as well as civil rights history education,” according to Dickens. There will be an obstacle course for first-responder driver training, police and fire academy housing, and an indoor-outdoor K-9 training facility, among other features of the project.

But, in explaining some of the other details of the training complex, Dickens got in some digs at the domestic terrorists who have plagued the project, most of whom don’t hail from metro Atlanta. Ostensibly, the Antifa elements who have interfered with the project expressed their worries about the environmental effects of the training center, and Dickens dispelled those concerns with ease:

I know there have been questions about the environmental impact of this project, which is a focus of this agreement we’re announcing today with DeKalb County. The 85-acre facility will be constructed on a set of parcels owned by the city of Atlanta that totals more than 380 acres. The rest of the land, which is roughly 300 acres, will continue to be green space available to the public. This essentially is a huge park about the size of Atlanta’s largest park, and it will be a park that will have a training center on a modest footprint within it.

This is Atlanta, and we know forests. This facility will not be built over a forest. The training center will sit on land that has long been cleared of hardwood trees through previous uses of this site decades ago. Arborists have confirmed the existing vegetation on his land is overwhelmingly dominated by invasive species like vines and brush, softwoods, and weeds. Much of the site contains rubble from the old buildings that were there and asphalt that are [sic] covered-up old parking lots. The parcel is the original site of the police and fire departments’ training centers and has been in continual use for outdoor tactical training for Atlanta’s public safety agencies for more than 50 years.

Our development partner has committed to replace any hardwood tree that will be destroyed in construction with 100 hardwood trees for each one, as well as replacing the invasive species with hardwoods. The site will include double erosion control to ensure the viability of Intrenchment Creek, the main waterway in the South River Forest basin. The site itself will have green space open to the public, featuring trails, ball fields, and picnic areas. My administration is aggressively committed to environmental protection. (emphasis added)

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During the press conference, WSB Radio anchor Chris Chandler reiterated that “it’s not a deal with the activists who have taken residence there at the site of the facility… not any concession to them. Instead, it is full speed ahead.”

Related: Atlanta Mayor Says the Quiet Part Out Loud About Saturday’s Terrorism in the City

Thurmond took to the podium to thank some of the people involved in the project and reiterate much of what Dickens said about the environmental measures the project will take. He also announced that the city is encouraging contractors on the project to hire local residents and patronize local businesses and that the city is encouraging the local school district to begin a cadet training program to encourage students to pursue law enforcement careers.

Bear in mind that Dickens and Thurmond are both Democrats. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-Ga.) has pointed out the common ground that he and Dickens have found.

“When it comes to keeping our people safe, we’re going to work together,” Kemp told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution before the press conference. “When it comes to creating good-paying jobs, we’re going to work together. Those are the things we can agree on regardless of where your politics are.”

Take that, Antifa terrorists!

Watch the entire press conference here:

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