Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Sean Waites

The Atlanta City Council approved legislation Monday to expand the Public Safety Commission’s purpose to include crime strategy and add business leaders and neighborhood associations.

The commission will be divided into five working groups designed to focus on crime deterrence and the enforcement and application of existing laws within specific geographic areas of Atlanta aligned with the boundaries of the six Atlanta Police Zones.

Last month, there was contentious debate among council members over the Public Safety Commission expansion following passage of legislation to establish the Buckhead Public Safety Task Force.

Waites said she was not opposed to the Buckhead task force, but the Public Safety Commission would explore the safety needs of the entire city rather than focusing on one neighborhood.

The Public Safety Commission was created last spring, but “never got off the ground,” Waites said, and has been mostly dormant.

Other items approved during Monday’s meeting include:

• A resolution requesting the MARTA Board of Directors provide a report to the council of the funding related to the expansion of the Campbellton Road Corridor project. There has been backlash from southwest Atlanta over MARTA’s announcement it would build a bus rapid transit (BRT) line along Campbellton rather than light rail. Councilmembers Marci Collier Overstreet, Antonio Lewis, and Andrea L. Boone will host a town hall meeting on the issue tonight, Feb. 8, at 5 p.m. at Mount Carmel Baptist Church, 2755 Campbellton Road SW.

• A resolution requesting the Atlanta Department of Transportation commissioner and Department of Parks and Recreation commissioner create a pedestrian safety plan for Danforth Road to enhance street safety for West Cascade Park.

• A resolution to apply for and accept $4.47 million in funding from the Georgia Department of Transportation for the 2022 Local Maintenance Improvement Grant to resurface Atlanta streets.

• An ordinance ratifying the mayor’s executive order extending the City of Atlanta’s employee vaccination incentive program through June 30. The program offers a $100 incentive to employees who get vaccinated against COVID-19.

• A resolution appointing Council member Matt Westmoreland to the Board of Directors of the Atlanta Regional Commission for a term of four years.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.