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Chief Turner, Dave Wilkinson, If would please join me at the podium.

Gregg, we would like to thank you and the Target team for the wonderful contributions you are making not only here in Atlanta, but all over our nation.

Target has earned its reputation for a sterling record on corporate responsibility and philanthropy.

They understand the inherent link between public safety and business, and go the extra mile make safety a priority in the communities they serve.

On behalf of the Department, the City and the Foundation, please accept a small token of our appreciation for your time and efforts and for Target’s partnership

Good morning to all of you!

I want to recognize members of the Atlanta City Council present here this morning, members of the Atlanta Police Foundation’s board, Chief Turner and his Command Staff, and Dave Wilkinson and his team at the Atlanta Police Foundation.

Together, we are building a world-class police force and a legacy of premier public safety that I expect will last well beyond my time in office.

It is always a pleasure to be here, for so many reasons – chief of which is the opportunity to honor the men and women of the Atlanta Police Department; the backbone of the force.

Every night, while we sleep comfortably in our beds, police are on duty. When we seek shelter in our homes from torrential rains, blistering heat or withering cold, police are on duty. When we gather with loved ones for Thanksgiving, or Christmas, police are on duty. When shots are fired, we run from them. Police run towards them.

Folks, I’m here to tell you, it takes an extraordinary human to be a police officer. And this room today is filled with extraordinary men and women. Please stand up if you are an Atlanta police officer – you deserve applause today!

I have made public safety my Administration’s No. 1 priority, because I believe all good things flow from a safe and secure city – an environment where home and business owners are confident to live and work.

Ladies and gentlemen: It’s not hard to see the results of our labor; since I took office, major crimes in the city are down 17 percent.

In fact, we have not seen major crimes this low since Lyndon Baines Johnson was in office (1969).

In a city that once, tragically, logged 250-plus homicides per year, we have had less than 100 the first three years I’ve been in office and are on pace for a fourth consecutive year.

We are quickly approaching a force of 2,000 sworn police officers – the largest in the city’s history.

And we continue to invest heavily in technology-driven strategies and innovations.

The Atlanta Police Foundation has been a trusted advisor and crucial partner in these remarkable public safety achievements.

The strategic collaboration between my Administration, the Atlanta Police Foundation and the APD is changing the public safety landscape for this city.

Foundation President and CEO Dave Wilkinson and his team have done a remarkable job of making the Atlanta Police Foundation the premier police foundation in the U.S.

The Foundation has forged a strong relationship with the city’s corporate partners, leveraging their contributions and involvement to help make the APD a stronger, smarter, more efficient and pre-eminent police force.

The Atlanta Police Foundation, in collaboration with Chief Turner’s leadership, is leading the next generation of public safety, pushing to make sure the police department is equipped to stake claim at the forefront of policing technologies and public safety strategies, some of which Chief Turner will speak about next.

Challenges remain, and our work is not done. But I look forward to finishing the job we’ve started, hand-in-glove with the Atlanta Police Foundation.

I’m proud to now turn you over to your Police Chief, George Turner. He and his team are doing a commendable job keeping our city safe.

Thank you.
Last updated: 1/13/2014 2:10:06 PM