Atlanta's public safety funding for 2025 invests in best practices for better community safety.

Atlanta has $29.8 million in public safety funding for 2025. Here’s why it matters.

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Key Points

  • The Atlanta City Council approved nearly $30 million dollars for public safety funding as part of the 2025 city budget. 
  • They also approved a 3.8% increase in the number of authorized positions within the Atlanta Police Department.
  • More officers on the street and more tools for those officers generally mean less crime.

Atlanta’s City Council has adopted its budget for 2025, which includes $29.8 million for public safety funding as well as a 3.8% increase in the number of authorized positions within the police department. 

This is good news for the city. In the first quarter of 2024, murders in Atlanta were up 15%—a trend that runs opposite to other major cities and to Atlanta’s own drop in violent crime in 2023. 

While it’s not helpful to overreact to changes during such a short period of time, the increase is a reminder that Atlanta must keep prioritizing best practices to lower crime, reduce fear, and foster an environment where opportunity can thrive.

Atlanta's murder rate is up 15% in the first quarter of 2024.

Atlanta public safety funding to boost a key element of the justice system

Atlanta, like many cities around the country, began to see increased homicides in the late 2010s that then exploded with the onset of the COVID-19 lockdowns, urban unrest, and changes in policing practices in 2020. Atlanta then had three of its deadliest years in decades in 2020, 2021, and 2022. 

Thankfully Atlanta’s elected leaders have not sat by idle. By investing more in policing, Atlanta Mayor Dickens and the city council are attempting a time-tested truism: more police means less crime. 

Police are the element of the criminal justice system most visible to the public and the arm with which citizens are most likely to interact. As Eastern Kentucky University professor Dr. Gary Potter puts it, “[t]he American system of criminal justice is predicated on an assumption of effective policing. After all, in order to deter criminals and punish the evil-doers you have to catch them.”

This is more than theoretical. Research on policing and crime has repeatedly found that more well-managed police leads to less crime. Most recently, a 2018 study looked at police and crime data from 1960 through 2010 and concluded that every $1 spent on policing generates about $1.63 in social benefits, mostly through reductions in homicides.

Atlanta City Council invests in technology for a safer community environment

Atlanta’s public safety funding will go to more than just additional police staffing and pay incentives for officers. Other allocations include:

  • $3.4 million for technology upgrades like body cameras, data storage, and identification technology.
  • $750,000 for additional security cameras in city parks and other areas highlighted by the department. 

Of particular importance are the funds allocated for additional cameras.

Washington, D.C., which until recently had been plagued by skyrocketing homicides and carjackings, recently implemented a similar expanded security camera program. As a result of the program, DC chief of police Pamela Smith recently revealed a substantial increase in arrests for shootings, carjackings, and robberies. Importantly, she also noted an increase in cooperation from crime-weary citizens due to increased trust in the department. 

Hopefully the new investments will produce similar results in Atlanta, where residents are equally crime-weary and hoping for relief. 

More Crime Solutions for Atlanta

How to reduce crime in Atlanta: Six practical policy methods (Georgia Center for Opportunity)

A path that could reduce Atlanta’s juvenile crime (Josh Crawford in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

There’s hope for reducing Crime in Georgia (Georgia Center for Opportunity)

There’s a crime divide between Americans and politicians, and voters are watching (Josh Crawford in The Hill)

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