The Atlanta Police Foundation said Thursday all of the city’s officers will receive a $500 bonus.
The bonuses are a way to thank the officers for the long hours worked during recent months, including at various protests and rallies around the city. The Atlanta Police Foundation, supported through donations, is funding the bonuses.
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The foundation’s announcement comes the day after the Atlanta Police Department said that a “higher than usual” number of officers didn’t go to work Wednesday night. The move happened hours after the Fulton County District Attorney announced criminal charges for two accused in the death of Rayshard Brooks.
In an interview Wednesday night on CNN, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said morale among officers is down with the city’s police department.
“Across the country, morale is down with police departments, and I think ours is down tenfold,” she said.
On Thursday in a videotaped message, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said citizens should continue to thank the officers working to keep communities safe.
"While so much of our attention is on the few who have violated their oath, we have failed to express our deepest appreciation for the many more who uphold it every day,” Kemp said.
The Atlanta Police Foundation supports a number of initiatives including the Loudermilk Video Integration Center in downtown Atlanta, where officers keep virtual watch over Atlanta through security cameras posted in and around busy intersections, parking lots and garages and elsewhere.
Atlanta has access to a system worth at least $300 million, with taxpayers spending only a tiny sliver of that amount, the Atlanta Police Foundation estimates.
The foundational also has supported the At-Promise Youth Center, a 17,000-square-foot facility on Cameron Alexander Boulevard, and a wellness program for officers.
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Credit: JOHN SPINK / AJC