The City Hall Vigil & Rally planned for tomorrow, Wednesday January 12th is canceled due to concerns over the weather. It will be rescheduled so please stay tuned!
Atlantans Together & Safe Atlanta for Everyone (SAFE) are holding a vigil and rally next Wednesday, Jan 12th from 6:30pm – 7:30pm on the steps of City Hall (Mitchell Street entrance). The vigil will be remembering those lost to violent crime in 2010. After a prayer service & moment of silence, we will rally for reduced crime in 2011 & beyond by reminding City Hall to address the root causes of crime in our city.
We believe that Mayor Reed has done a good job in his first year addressing our public safety infrastructure and the police department. However, it does not stop there. We will be reminding him and other city leaders that we need bold, visionary leadership in addressing crime at its root – and for ALL neighborhoods of Atlanta.
WHO: Atlantans Together and Safe Atlanta For Everyone (SAFE)
WHAT: A vigil for crime victims in 2010 and a call for bold leadership to reduce crime in 2011
WHERE: Steps of City Hall (55 Trinity Ave SW), Mitchell Street side
WHEN: Wednesday, January 12, 2011, 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
WHY: The rally is an opportunity for all Atlantans to stand together, from all neighborhoods, and remind City Hall that crime in unacceptable in any part of the city. We are asking City Hall to address the root causes of crime and tackle it at its most fundamental levels.
I hope you will be able to attend. Please spread the word.
FACEBOOK INVITE: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=116702131734568
Knowing Mayor Reed’s job isn’t easy is no excuse not to hold him to it. It’s true he already boasts an impressive shortlist of first-year accomplishments for which he should be praised.
But he seems to have neglected his most important campaign promise, one that now, unfortunately, defines the difference between Reed the candidate and Reed the mayor.
As a candidate, Reed was quick to attend Atlantans Together Against Crime rallies and proclaim that he’d be vigilant in fighting for better public safety. Even in his inaugural address, he said:
I would not be satisfying my responsibility as your Mayor without also addressing the root cause of crime… The foundation of my campaign was built on my promise to attack crime in this City. The foundation of my administration shall be built on my fulfillment of that promise.
With the 86th murder of 2010 occurring in Virginia Highlands just a week ago, Atlanta residents have reason to recall that promise and wonder what happened to it. The “Highlands” is not where one would expect someone to be gunned down outside his apartment. Shamefully, there are parts of the city where crime is prevalent, ignored in the news, and even “expected to some degree. The truth is, such violence should be unacceptable in any Atlanta neighborhood.
Many people have contacted me regarding my work on the Police Chief Search Committee and Mayor Reed’s appointment of George Turner to Atlanta’s Police Chief. This is my statement:
Mayor Reed obviously picked who he wanted to pick. That’s his prerogative.
No, George Turner was not one of the three people recommended by the Police Chief Search Committee but that does not make him a “bad” candidate for the job. He did, in fact, still make a competitive short list of 6 names culled from over 30.
In regards to the controversy surrounding the committee, there was obvious miscommunication between the Mayor’s Office and ourselves. I take the Mayor at his word when he says he always wanted five names. I trust he takes me at mine when I say we were always told three.
Mayor Reed has selected George Turner to lead Atlanta’s Police Department and I support both his decision and Chief Turner in that role. With our city’s youth fighting it out at Screen on the Green to store clerks still getting slain in neighborhood supermarkets, it’s time for a bold, comprehensive approach.
We must attend to our city’s youth, increase graduation rates, address poverty and homelessness, and yes, strengthen our public safety infrastructure that includes 911, fire, and the police department.
As Acting Chief, George Turner demonstrated a unique zeal for getting things rolling. I support him in hopes he keep doing so. The time for world class public safety in Atlanta is now. Let’s move forward and work with our city leadership to ensure that happens.
I’ve been asked to serve on the search committee for Atlanta’s new police chief. This is an important process for an important position that will absolutely shape the future of Atlanta. I’m honored and privileged to have been asked. And because this is a community that we’ve all created, I want your input.
So I ask… what do you want in the next Chief of Police? What qualities should she or he have? What sort of experience should they ideally have? What would you want the APD to look like in 3-5 years? Or, do you believe there’s a qualified candidate within the APD ranks who everyone should consider? I invite everyone to begin a discussion below.
In the meantime, I will listen, participate, and compile your thoughts to help guide me through the selection process. I will also keep you posted on our progress. It is only the candidate names who I can not reveal – a measure taken to protect them, in light of national candidates whose employers may or may not know they’ve put themselves on the market.
Please note that all comments will be monitored and I will delete anything that is not constructive toward fruitful discussion.
Thank you! Let’s discuss! If you prefer Facebook, go here!
The site will be coming down soon as I look to reorganize Atlantans Together. As Atlanta moves forward with a new mayor, so will we. The political force that we once were will be transformed into a new entity called, simply, Atlantans Together. It will be a non-profit aimed at keeping Atlantans safe by connecting communities, fostering inter-neighborhood communication, and facilitating civic participation.
I hope Atlantans Together to be a city wide brand that reaches every corner of Atlanta. Together, we will reach every community, connect them, and unite us as a safe, world class city.
Before I take the site down completely, there is some last business to finalize. I’ve been selected to sit on the Selection Committee for the new police chief of Atlanta. As details are released and the committee begins to meet, I hope to facilitate a dialogue between all of us where we can decide on the qualities we want in the next police chief.
I attended the press conference this morning where Mayor-elect Kasim Reed announced his choice for a new acting Chief of Police: George Turner. Below are some notes and the questions/answers from the media. Reed first introduced Turner and then he spoke. From his intro, I learned the following….
- George Turner will be acting Chief of Police effective January 4, 2010 (when Reed starts).
- Turner was born and raised in Atlanta (a “Grady baby”).
- For first 9 years of his life he lived in Perry Homes, which was one of the first housing projects in Atlanta.
- Turner joined the APD in 1981 and has spent 3 decades on the force.
- During his tenure he rose to Support Service Division Chief, managed 164 million of the department’s budget, commanded the Human Resources Recruitment Unit, and commanded Zone 1 (Buckhead n’ such). According to Reed, Turner oversaw a 17% reduction of crime in that zone during his time.
Reed said he’s directed Turner to focus on the following priorities:
- new officers
- meeting daily with command staff and officers
George Turner then came up, said thanks, and answered a few questions. His answers are after the jump.
Turner joined Atlanta’s police force in 1981 and has commanded the Zone 1 precinct of northwest Atlanta. He now oversees APD’s support services division, which includes the crime lab and the 911 communications center. Turner was a finalist last year for the police chief’s position in Fort Worth, Texas. He declined comment.
An interesting read from the AJC.
Reed’s selection of Atlanta’s next police chief will be one of the most important decisions he’ll make as mayor, and he’s promised his process will be open and transparent, seek public input and entertain applications from “super cops” from within APD and nationwide.For that reason, Reed said recently, he doesn’t want to rush his decision.
At a press conference from the transitional offices at City Hall today, Mayor-elect Kasim Reed announced his choice for Chief Operating Officer for the city. Peter Aman will take the helm and lead the executive management of the municipal operating departments including Police, Fire, Corrections, Aviation, Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement, Public Works, Parks/Recreation/Cultural Affairs, Watershed Management, and Planning and Community Development.
Personally, I think it’s an excellent choice. Peter Aman was a partner in Bain & Company who authored the Turnaround plan for Atlanta in 2002 and 2005 (otherwise known as “The Bain Report”). He certainly knows the city from the inside out.
Notes from the conference follow.