Does Atlanta’s airport have too many police? New ordinance aims cut number of officers at Hartsfield

ATLANTA — A new ordinance aims to make the city more safe by shifting where officers spend their days on patrol.

At the moment, 139 sworn officers patrol the airport, but some city leaders want them to get back on the street

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Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston talked with the city councilman who pushed for the new ordinance, which passed on Monday. The ordinance will likely be effective by next week, city officials said.


Councilman Dustin Hillis said that of the 139 sworn officers at the airport, some could be used elsewhere since there’s a shortage of officers on the force.

“We don’t need hundreds of hours to direct traffic,” Hillis said. “Anytime you have anywhere from 20-25$ vacancy in APD, then we have to look at every tool we have and any kind of legislative change that we can make to free up those resources and support our police officers and public safety officers.”

Atlanta police are not the one’s who are stopping traffic so people can walk to the parking garage. That’s a separate unit called ATL Enforcement comprised of non-sworn officers who have limited duties.

The city has a contract on how many officers work at the airport to handle problems at terminals, deal with unruly passengers and other problems like tickets and traffic enforcement.

Hillis said that maybe even some of those issues could be handled by the non-sworn officers.

“We don’t really need an officer with hundreds of hours of training performing that job,” Hillis said.