Projects of this scale and scope often elicit multiple, sometimes opposing responses. Making sure that this diversity of thought is captured and represented in the planning process is extremely important. Since the project’s inception, there have been multiple opportunities and platforms for community members to express their thoughts and opinions on the project. This feedback has already shaped this project for the better.
In 2021, the Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee (CSAC) was established to provide City of Atlanta and DeKalb County neighbors and community leaders living closest to the center, a seat at the table during the planning process.
In 2023, the South River Forest and Public Safety Training Center Community Task Force was created to build on CSAC’s work. Civic leaders and subject matter experts were asked to join the conversation to make recommendations on the direction of parks and green space; visioning, memorializing, and repurposing the former Atlanta Prison Farm site; sustainability and resilience; and police, fire, and E-911 training curriculum.
In addition to these formal groups, Mayor Dickens has privately and publicly visited residents who live in the vicinity of the center to hear their voices. He has participated in community meetings of all sizes to hear constituents, answer questions, and engage in civil discussion. Atlanta City Council has heard over 20 hours of public comment at full council meetings on September 7, 2021, and June 5, 2023. Council members have also engaged directly with constituents, led or attended community meetings on the subject, and heard additional public comment during committee meetings. To search and view Public Safety Committee meetings, visit https://www.youtube.com/@atlcouncilAtlantaCityCouncil and search “Public Safety Committee”