Atlanta’s $90M police training center expected to open in 2024
The new training center site is a former city prison farm. The city and the Atlanta Police Foundation have been working together to build the center since April 2021
By Jozsef Papp
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
ATLANTA — Even as protests against a planned new public safety training center continue, Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum is confident his department will move in by the end of next year.
“(Construction has) been going on for a while,” he said Tuesday. “We will be moving in December 2024.”
The construction for Atlanta’s $90 million training center was expected to begin this summer and a soft opening of the facility is scheduled for the end of 2024, The Atlanta Journal Constitution has reported.
Construction for the eastern side of the site is tentatively set for Aug. 29 and for the west side on Oct. 16, according to Atlanta Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee documents. A soft opening is scheduled for Dec. 20, 2024.
Schierbaum is confident and expressed the need for a new training facility during a media tour Tuesday at the Atlanta Police Academy, which hasn’t been used for other than tactical training since 2021. Atlanta Fire Chief Roderick Smith did a similar tour Monday of condemned training facilities.
The new training center site is a former city prison farm that is currently forested land off Key Road in southwestern DeKalb County. The city and the Atlanta Police Foundation have been working together to build the center since former Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms introduced the plan in April 2021.
At the time, foundation president Dave Wilkinson told the AJC the facility would be ready for officers within two years. Opponents have continuously criticized the city over the plan, with some protests turning violent and an activist shot and killed by state troopers.
The James M. Cox Foundation, the charitable arm of Cox Enterprises which owns The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, has contributed to the training center fundraising campaign. It is among several Atlanta-based foundations that have contributed.