“I’ve seen the multitude of issues inherent in this bill,” Bottoms said to Blitzer.
Bottoms told Bevington that “reparations” for descendants of enslaved people are overdue, but most of that interview focused on the issue of violent crime and homicides.
Bottoms said renewed recruiting efforts will attract police, and that some officers who previously left have asked about returning. She said the bulk of Atlanta’s budget supports a public safety “phased in” effort to increasingly fund salaries over time.
Atlanta, meanwhile, has committed $3 million to acquiring resources for cameras, drones and helicopters, Bottoms said, adding the city is “exploring every opportunity” to curb gun violence. She’s interacting with the Shotspotter gunshot detection system that previously performed a pilot program with the city, she said.
Bottoms acknowledged the city’s limits, but she said police morale is slowly improving. She continued to attribute violent crimes to the coronavirus pandemic, but advocated for state lawmakers support of a federal assault weapons ban.
She also said it’s “ludicrous” to think Buckhead cityhood will stop criminals.
Meanwhile, Atlanta operates in phase 2 of reopening amid the pandemic as the city accepts applications for outdoor events with 2,000 or less people. Bottoms said businesses should have the right to ask for vaccination proof.
“This is not a concept that we are comfortable with as adults, Bottoms said, adding that “if you don’t want a vaccine then you should expect that there may be some challenges with your being able to access certain places if there’s a vaccine passport.”