Atlanta’s police will be recommended for accreditation in March after being assessed by a national law enforcement commission with tough standards, says the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The three-man team from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, based in Fairfax, Va., spent five days this month examining the department and hearing from the public at a forum. The accreditation team rated Atlanta police on how well they comply with 446 standards, from policies on deadly force to quality of patrol cars. A draft of the findings will be turned over to a review committee, program manager Dennis Hyater said.
“This is a day I’ve looked forward to for years,” said Marc Lawson, former Atlanta police detective, union representative, and now chief of campus police at Spelman College. Two citizen speakers, while approving of accreditation, called for a civilian review panel as well. “The responsiveness of the Atlanta police is very good, but they are lacking in the areas of responsibility and accountability,” said Steve Carr. He mentioned allegations of improper force at Hartsfield-Jackson Airport by an officer who allegedly threw a woman to the pavement.