City Council urges Atlanta police to keep blue lights on during nighttime patrols

An Atlanta police patrol car drives by Traffik Kitchen and Cocktails nightclub on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

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An Atlanta police patrol car drives by Traffik Kitchen and Cocktails nightclub on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022. (John Spink / John.Spink@ajc.com)

Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC

Atlanta residents could soon see more blue lights coming from cop cars at night if the police department enacts a policy proposed by the City Council this week.

A resolution passed Monday urges the Atlanta Police Department to have officers keep a steady stream of non-flashing blue lights on during their patrols from sunset to sunrise.

“I drafted this legislation to increase police visibility, to deter criminals from illegal acts, make it easier to spot a cop in a crisis and to decrease potential bad interactions between police and citizens,” Councilman Antonio Lewis, who represents a Southside district, said in a statement.

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The resolution is non-binding, and it’s up to police department leadership whether they want to change their rules. Current department policy allows patrol officers to keep their lights on, but it’s not required.

Atlanta police officials did not respond to a request for comment on the legislation.

Some community across the country have put similar policies in place. In 2019, Gwinnett County police required its officers to keep cruise lights on.

“What we have done is look around the country for solutions that work in reducing crime but do not turn around and over criminalize our communities,” Lewis said.