The Atlanta Police Department recorded 154 homicides in 2020, up from an average of 90 annually over the previous decade, and that increased pace has continued in the first part of 2021. Aggravated assaults, which can include nonfatal shootings, also have risen significantly, although not as sharply as homicides.
A third of the $75 million Ralston proposed would go towards the bonuses for officers and deputies. Of the remaining funds, more than $20 million would go to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and $10 million would go towards salary increases for state prosecutors and public defenders. Another $7 million is earmarked for additional crisis beds at the Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability, Ralston said.
The bulk of the additional money for the GBI would be used to hire employees for death investigations, forensic services and several specialized task forces. The $75 million includes $3 million that Ralston previously announced to address crime in Atlanta.