There is a new effort underway to get Atlanta police officers to not only work in the city but live here too.
The Atlanta Police Foundation, a nonprofit that supports the police department just revamped a housing program in the hopes of luring officers to move into Atlanta.
Dave Wilkinson, the foundation’s president and CEO says, “It’s a critical part of our strategy to create a safer city — to have police officers living in the city.”
Wilkinson says more officers living in Atlanta increases police visibility and helps deter crime. It also gives officers an emotional investment in the city and makes them less likely to leave for police jobs in the suburbs.
Other cities have struggled with the same issue but one challenge is the quality of education that exists in many city school systems, Atlanta included.
Right now only 22 percent of Atlanta police officers live within city limits, according to the police foundation.
The police foundation had a housing program for officers in 2006-08, but it focused largely on down payment assistance for homebuyers.
This time, the program will have a “comprehensive menu” for officers in all stages of their lives, said Stephanie Cruse, the housing program manager. The program has a $77,000 budget for 2011, all of which comes from community donations.
The foundation is offering $1,000 bonuses for officers to relocate to the city.
For more on the program go here: