Atlanta’s City Council on Tuesday approved funding for the construction of a police and firefighter training facility at a site that’s been dubbed “Cop City.”
Despite months-long protests against the site, some of them violent, the City Council members voted 11-4 to approve constructing the facility, whose official name is Atlanta Public Safety Training Center. The Council also passed a provision that requires the city to pay $36 million over 30 years for use of the facility.
The 85-acre training site is set to include classrooms, an amphitheater and spaces where police officers can simulate shootouts and high-speed chases. Firefighters will also be able to receive training there.
The cost of construction is estimated to be at $90 million. A nonprofit organization, the Atlanta Police Foundation, is raising most of the funding.
Prior to the highly anticipated vote, hundreds of residents and activists packed into Atlanta City Hall and spoke before the council for roughly 14 hours.
Some of the protests in recent months turned violent after an incident in January at the site, when a 26-year-old environmental activist, Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, was shot to death by authorities in the forest where the training center is under construction. A state trooper was also seriously injured in that incident.