Atlanta city council members seek to fund proposal for private police force

Atlanta city council members seek to fund proposal for private police force
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The shooting death of a 7-year-old Atlanta girl has emboldened a group of community leaders to call for a private security force to supplement the Atlanta Police Department.

NBC News reports that 7-year-old Kennedy Maxie was shot in the back of the head by a stray bullet just days before Christmas. She remained in critical condition before dying of her injuries on Saturday.

NBC notes that Kennedy's death was one of a record amount of homicides the Atlanta Police Department has investigated this year. A suspect has not yet been identified.

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Atlanta Police Officer Steve Avery said in a statement, “As of the end of the week 52 reporting period we are at 154 homicides compared with 99 for the same period of 2019 … That is an increase of 61%."

Kennedy's shooting on Dec. 21 has galvanized a group of Atlanta city council members to announce on Monday they were allocating $125,000 to fund the Buckhead Security Plan, NBC reports. The proposed plan would fund a private police force in Atlanta’s affluent Buckhead residential area.

City council members J.P. Matzigkeit, Howard Shook and Matt Westmoreland backed the plan along with support from the Atlanta Police Department, members of the Fulton County Commission and a member of Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance BottomsKeisha Lance BottomsHarris to campaign with McAuliffe in Virginia McAuliffe, Youngkin in dead heat: poll McAuliffe brings in big guns as Democratic worries grow over Virginia MORE’s administration.

Along with added security patrols, the plan also calls for additional security cameras and license plate readers, NBC reports. The plan will cost $1.6 million with private police officers already scheduled to begin patrolling the area in January, according to a report from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.