A new training facility proposal for the Atlanta Police Department has ignited controversy in the city, pitting environmental activists and defund the police protesters against law enforcement and their supporters.
Atlanta city council member Joyce M. Sheperd introduced an ordinance earlier in June to lease land to the Atlanta Police Foundation, a nonprofit that plans to build “a state-of-the-art Public Safety Training Campus for all public safety agencies.”
The training facility would be built on 150 acres of forested land in DeKalb County, which is the site of the old Atlanta prison farm, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. It would include 90 acres of green space, a military veteran training center, a 12-acre emergency vehicle course, a physical training field with a track, a mock city for real-world training, burn towers, a shooting range, 40 horse stalls, a 40-acre horse pasture, k9 kennels, and more, according to mockups by the Atlanta Police Foundation.
Environmental activists and supporters of the defund the police movement have been protesting the new facility for weeks, but Sheperd said they took things too far when they came on her property Wednesday.
“People have a right to come out and say whether they are for or against it. I have no problem with that. I’ve been doing this for years and I know people have that right,” Shepherd said Wednesday, according to FOX 5 Atlanta.