The South Fulton Police Department will soon add 41 new cruisers to its fleet to support its updated police beat design.
City council members accepted a 48-month purchase agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management capped at $2.1 million. Police Chief Keith Meadows said the agreement will help South Fulton officers focus on proactive patrolling.
Earlier this year, Meadows unveiled a new beat alignment developed with Georgia Tech. The new design – the first update since 1971 – increases the number of beats from seven to 18, putting more officers on the street and concentrating manpower in higher-crime areas.
“The new police vehicles will impact our beat realignment directly by allowing us to better patrol the additional new beats,” Meadows said. “This will cut response times and give officers more time to get out and interact with community members.”
According to the Georgia Tech study, police officers were spending 11 out of 12 hours responding to 911 calls. Meadows expects that ratio to improve as officers now will patrol smaller areas.
“Our officers battle back and forth between 911 calls,” Meadows said. “We want to reduce that to about a third of a shift. That will allow us enough time to concentrate on proactive patrols. Overall, these vehicles will help us better protect and serve City of South Fulton citizens, businesses and visitors.”
Meadows said his department plans to grow to 10 beats by April and 15 by the end of the year. Much of that progress will depend on the hiring of new officers, a major priority for the city.
The police department added 63 new officers in 2019. Plans are to put 28 more on the street in coming months to allow expansion to 10 beats and an additional 35 officers by year’s end to grow to 15 beats.
Photo Credit: South Fulton Police Department