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When he was suspected of starting the fire that collapsed a portion of I-85 in Atlanta, Basil Eleby—a homeless man who grew up without a family and struggled with addiction—was facing felony charges that would put him in jail until he was in his sixties. But one year after the fire, Eleby is on the path to recovery, thanks to the help of the Atlanta community.
Robby Ivy is “care navigator” for Atlanta's Pre-Arrest Diversion Initiative, a program has created an unlikely alliance between police officers and criminal justice activists. Together, they’re trying to answer a key question: Can helping the addicted, mentally ill, and homeless instead of hauling them to jail make Atlanta safer?
After a 6-year-old boy was killed and a 5-year-old girl mauled by loose dogs earlier this year, the Atlanta Police Department decided to create a new sworn position, Animal Cruelty Liaison Officer, to tackle animal cruelty cases and educate the community about the relationship between animal cruelty and crime. Meet Amy Soeldner, the first person to hold the position.
Atlanta City Council voted unanimously to pass legislation that will decrease penalties for less than an ounce of marijuana possession. But misinformation about the law started spreading as soon as the vote was passed. Here's every question you have about the new ordinance, answered.
Atlanta Police Department chief Erika Shields has a lot of progressive ideas, such as having APD build relationships with the city’s top 100 young offenders to help break the vicious cycle of arrests and jail. But will Atlanta's next mayor keep her around?
Black in Blue: Atlanta’s first African American police officers were vanguards of the civil rights movement
Mayor William Hartsfield and Police Chief Herbert Jenkins, both white, stood before Atlanta’s first eight African American police officers as they prepared for active duty. Hartsfield gave a rallying speech, warning that though 95 percent of the white cops didn’t want them, they were here to do what Jackie Robinson had done for baseball the year before.
“We are giving you one chance to hear our message before we are forced to take action against you,” the letter said, vowing that he wouldn’t be arrested that night. On June 30, 2015, Vincent Stephenson sank into the front pew of the crowded sanctuary and was given a choice: keep dealing and face the full extent of the law, or accept help and leave that world behind.
Beat cop, homicide detective, special victims unit officer, police lieutenant, crisis negotiator—Trudy Nan Boyce did it all in her 27-year career with the Atlanta Police Department. And during her retirement, she’s turning her experiences into crime thriller fodder.
In other words, Atlanta, don’t look for police body cameras any time soon.