The city of Atlanta is ensuring the funds it receives for tickets issued to drivers who break the law when it comes to school speed zones is used for public safety purposes.
The monies could provide a boost to the Atlanta Police Department, which has seen its number of officers drop from about 2,000 during the Kasim Reed administration to about 1,600 today and saw the number of reported murders in the city rise from 99 in 2019 to 157 last year.
At its Feb. 1 meeting, which was held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Atlanta City Council voted to approve legislation to provide funds for several public safety programs.
The legislation (Reference No. 21-O-0020) would mandate a minimum of 33% of the city’s net revenue collected for school zone speed camera enforcement be used for surveillance cameras and license plate readers citywide and at least 33% of those funds be utilized for construction and improvements for its Public Safety Training Academy.
The rest of the net revenue would fund local law enforcement or public safety programs, which could include pedestrian safety initiatives.
At its Jan. 19 meeting, the council approved companion legislation calling for an agreement with Atlanta Public Schools for the school bus stop-arm camera enforcement program and to authorize the collection and sharing of fines resulting from offenses (Legislative Reference No. 21-R-3005).