First Chicago, then Atlanta, and now other cities are talking about building police training facilities designed to train police in urban combat and citizen control. This is a horrific idea for a number of reasons:
–Police are already too aggressive, with police killings increasing every year since 2017, topping out at 1,096 in 2022, disproportionately killing African and Hispanic Americans.
–Aggressive policing of protestors endangers mass movements and thus endangers Democracy.
–The millions spent on these behemoths should instead be spent on systematic causes of crime, such as lack of affordable housing, economic development, food security, quality education, health care and parkland.
–Environmental damage will result from the Atlanta facility being built on forested wetland that prevents flooding, as well as chemical runoff from weapons testing polluting the nearby South River.
–Two thirds of the funding for Atlanta’s proposed facility are from the Atlanta Police Foundation and private donors, weakening public input and oversight.
Backers of these facilities claim that safer cities will result from these training facilities, and will “reimagine law enforcement training and Police/Fire Rescue community engagement” per the Atlanta Police Foundation. We should not be fooled! These facilities are more about community control, not engagement.