By Valencia Jones

ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News at 10) — The 2021 State of the City address took a virtual look back at a year of action, paying tribute to Atlanta’s resilience during a year of devastation. “It’s an understatement to say that this has been a challenging year, but in true Atlanta fashion, we’ve joined together to help one another,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms.

Bottoms reflected on how the city handled the deadly pandemic, job losses, and how schools were forced into virtual learning. “We took immediate action by standing up a Pandemic Response Team,” she said, also referencing the city’s role in stopping evictions and utility disconnections. “We infused $80 million of emergency support into our community.”

She also remembered civil rights icons who passed on during a tumultuous elections cycle and the civil unrest following the deaths of George Floyd and several others. “Even before the unrest, our administration had begun the hard work of looking inward at the policies of the Atlanta Police Department. Despite criticism over the handling of alleged police brutality cases and the city’s increasing violence, she applauded officers for their work, acknowledged the challenges ahead and offered a message of hope. “Atlanta will get to the other side of this COVID crime wave, and we will get this violence under control,” she said.

Bottoms announced plans for recruiting 250 new police officers over the next fiscal year.