DeKalb CEO announces plan to spend millions on crime prevention

DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond gives a shoutout to mothers during the May 1 food distribution event at James R. Hallford Stadium in Clarkston. Thurmond said. “Honk the horns for all the mothers who are here this morning. Mothers we love you and we appreciate you and we thank you for the love and support that you’ve given all of us.” Photo by Dean Hesse.

DeKalb County, GA — DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond this week announced a multi-million dollar plan to reduce crime in the county.

“This funding will allow us to proactively work to mitigate the growing crisis of homicides and violent crimes in metro Atlanta and holistically address the root causes and effects of crime throughout DeKalb County,” Thurmond said.

The plan has been given to the County Commission for their consideration. The county plans to use $11.5 million of the $73 million it received from the American Rescue Plan to implement new crime prevention and intervention strategies.

“In the proposal, approximately $6.7 million would be allocated for a one-time Protect and Serve Retention Bonus of $3,000 to public safety employees, including police officers, firefighters, E-911 employees, medical examiner investigators, sheriff’s deputies, district attorney’s investigators, state and juvenile court probation officers among others,” a press release from the county says.  “Additionally, the DeKalb County Public Safety Department would receive $2 million in funding for training, personnel, equipment and other crime intervention and disruption strategies.”

The Police Department plans to buy a bus and use it as a mobile precinct to provide “high visibility, deterrence and personal service” to communities that need it.

“The funding also would be used to hire three additional nurses through the DeKalb Community Service Board for the Mobile Crisis Unit, which responds to mental health crisis calls,” the press release says. “The courts and justice services would receive $3.2 million to reduce their caseload backlog and for violence interruption strategies.”

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