An ordinance is currently pending in the City Council to lease the land to the Atlanta Police Foundation for the construction of the site.
The proposal has been met with pushback from residents and advocates pushing for the preservation of the historic site and activists who oppose further police investment.
The neighborhoods’ resolutions state that they support the land’s “conservation in-perpetuity for passive greenspace, natural habitat restoration, and future public recreation uses.”
It adds that the neighborhoods recognize the need for high training standards for Atlanta’s first responders, but they support “a thorough and transparent public-interest review of the place-based needs and objectives for such training.”
Katie Kissel, the president of the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization, said on Twitter Sunday that she is also working on a similar resolution, and is contacting community leaders in Edgewood and East Lake.
The police foundation, which argues the facility is needed to bolster the staffing and training for Atlanta’s public safety responders, said in a statement that organization officials attended Grant Park’s neighborhood meeting to speak about the need for the training center.
“We invite input from all of these communities and would be happy to answer any questions they have,” the foundation said. “We want to ensure every community has complete information and there are no further factual discrepancies about the (Public Safety Training Center) and the collaborative process by which we developed the plan.”
The City Council tabled a vote on the proposal until its next meeting on Sept. 7. Several councilmembers who voted to hold off on the vote said they hope to gather more input from residents and DeKalb County officials over the next few weeks, saying the police foundation had not done an adequate public review process. The council recently amended the proposal, shrinking the amount of space that could be leased to the police foundation from 150 to 85 acres.
The $90 million center would be funded by a mix of private and public dollars involving the Atlanta Police Foundation and the city’s philanthropic community, the police foundation said. Cox Enterprises President and CEO Alex Taylor, who also chairs the Atlanta Committee for Progress, is leading the campaign to raise private funds for the project. Cox Enterprises owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.