History of the APD
1837 - Railroad surveyor marks future site of Atlanta: settlement originally called Terminus.
1843 - Name of settlement changed to Marthesville (December 23)
1844 - *Antonio (?) named first marshal of Marthesville
1846 - New name, Atlanta, Written into town charter
1847 - State legislature officially recognizes new name of Atlanta
1853 - First night police elected (January 28)
1858 - Number of policemen increased to 20
1860 Population of Atlanta: 9,544
1863 Deputy marshal Tim Shivers killed in duel by G. W. “Whit” Anderson; first Atlanta peace officer killed
1864 Burning of Atlanta
1870 Population of Atlanta: 21,879
1872 Officer M.W. Rasbury killed by Penn Bedell; first Atlanta Police Officer killed in the line of duty, March 7, 1872
1873 First board of police commissioners meets and names Thomas Jones as first chief of police
1874 *Thomas Jones elected to first full term as chief of the newly reorganized police department
1876 *James A. Anderson elected chief (January)
1878 *L.P. Thomas elected chief (April 4). Headquarters moved to three-story building on S. Pryor St.
1880 *Lovice T. Anderson elected chief(April 14. Population of Atlanta: 37,409
1881 *Arthur B. Connolly elected chief, April 1881
1885 Police board reorganizes detective bureau: 1 captain, 1 sergeant, 8 detectives: Chief Connolly calls for strong measures to juvenile crime
1886 First police wagon purchased
1887 Seal of the City adopted by Atlanta government. The emblem is a part of the Atlanta police Department uniform, worn as a patch on the shoulder.
1889 Eight-hour workday adopted for police
1890 Population of Atlanta: 65,553; police budget surpasses $100,000
1893 Opening of a new headquarters building on Decatur St., March 25 1893
1896 Detective department reorganized under Sergeant Bradley Slaughter. Bertillon system of identification through skeletal measurements used for first time by detectives
1897 *Chief Connoly dies. W.P. Manley elected chief, August 20. Bicycle squad organized
1900 Population of Atlanta: 89,872
1901 *John W. Ball elected chief (March 30): Chief Ball launches a campaign to prevent cruelty to animals and to rid the city of vagrants: Mary Bohnefeld hired as department’s first matron
1904 Juvenile Court and separate juvenile detention facilities established
1905 *Henry Jennings elected chief
1911 *James L. Beavers elected chief ,August 11; police department acquires first motorized vehicles; motorcycles and auto patrol wagons
1912 Chief Beavers attacks organized prostitution and announces plans for vigorous antivice campaigns
1915 *Chief Beavers resigns: William M. Mayo elected chief ,August 3, Chief Mayo establishes first police school of intensive instruction; publication of daily bulletin begins
1917-18 Eleven Atlanta police officers serve in armed forces during WWI
1917 Great Fire destroys 73 blocks, leaves thousands homeless ,May 21. James Beavers reinstated as chief, November 8
1918 Department completely motorized; first two policewomen appointed; Bureau of Identification established
1921 First traffic signal tower installed in downtown Atlanta; department acquired high-powered car for answering emergency calls; telephone exchange installed at police headquarters
1924 Women’s Bureau established ,January
1930 Population of Atlanta 270,336
1931 Police radio station begins operations
1932 *Chief Beavers announces retirement; Thurman O. Sturdivant elected chief, April 30
1937 *Chief Sturdivant resigns; Marion A. Hornsby elected chief, February 4
1942-45 One hundred and twenty-nine Atlanta police officers serve in WWII. Two are killed
1947 Chief Hornsby dies ,January 31; Herbert T. Jenkins elected chief, immediately begins vigorous reform campaign, February 2; mandatory retirement of 65 established; Klan-dominated police union abolished; Police Training Academy founded
1947 Detective department organized into specialized squads.
1948 First African-American police officers go on duty on Auburn Ave, April 3
1955 First noticeable crime decrease since WWII, major crimes decline seven percent; Howard Baugh and Ernest Lyons become first African-American police detectives. There are 15 Black officers on the force
1957 First women assigned to regular beats ,August 1
1959 Headquarters at Butler and Decatur streets completes and opened
1960 K-9 Corps begins patrolling, June; action of Chief Jenkins helps prevent violence during student protest march ,May 17; population of Atlanta: 487,455; helicopters used for traffic control
1961 Howard Baugh becomes first African-American superior officer (March 31); massive police effort helps bring about peaceful integration of Atlanta public high schools; APD receives praise from U.S. Civil Rights Commission; Claude E. Mundy Jr.
1961 First African-American officer to be slain in the line of duty
1962 Black officers authorized to arrest Whites engaged in criminal activities; use of one-person patrol cars expanded
1963 Fugitive Squad organized
1964-65 Metropolitan Atlanta Crime Commission thoroughly investigates city’s crime problem
1966 African-American officers assigned to regular patrols; crime prevention bureau established; Summerhill Riot ,September 6
1967 Five-day work week established for police officers, April; Chief Jenkins appointed to be President Johnson’s National Commission on Civil Disorders ,July
1968 Assassination and funeral ,April 9 of Dr. Martin Luther King
1969 Racial barriers were removed and Black and White officers begun working side-by-side. Numerous charges of police brutality result in change of supervision techniques and personnel in detention area
1970 Population of Atlanta: 487,533
1971 First African-American women officer hired, Linnie Hollowman
1972 *Chief Jenkins retires. Continues in role as head of police force under the title of police commissioner (January 8). John Inman takes office as Atlanta’s fifteenth chief of police (March 20). Herbert T. Jenkins named police chief emeritus for life
1974 The City of Atlanta creates a new Department of Public Safety to include the police, fire, corrections, and other functions. A. Reginald Eaves named as First Commissioner of Public Safety
1978 *Lee P. Brown appointed Commissioner of Public Safety, George Napper appointed Director of Police Services
1976-82 Freeze on hiring and promotion due to equal opportunity litigation
1979-82 The Missing and Murdered Children case dominated the city, eventually ending with the arrest and conviction of Wayne Williams
1982 *George Napper appointed Commissioner of Public Safety, Morris G. Redding appointed Chief of Police; First women, Beverly J. Harvard, to hold the rank of deputy chief in a major police department is appointed
1988 Atlanta chosen as site of the Democratic National Convention
1989 Red Dog Unit established ,June
1990 *Department of Public Safety abolished. Individual departments were reinstated for police, fire, and corrections. Eldrin A. Bell appointed Chief of Police
1991 First women in the department to obtain the rank of major, Thetus Knox and Blanche Nichols, are appointed. Atlanta chosen as the host of the 1996 Olympic Games, beginning the largest law enforcement planning effort ever conducted by APD
1994 *Beverly J. Harvard, first African-American women to hold the rank of chief of police of a major city, is appointed ,October. Atlanta chosen as host of the Superbowl
1995 Chief Harvard opens a state-of-the-art citywide 911 communications center with the Atlanta Fire Department, increases initiatives for Community Policing Atlanta; and establishes and expands the juvenile section, domestic violence unit and gangs and guns task force; Atlanta population: 411,204
1996 The Atlanta Police Department developed and implemented a comprehensive plan for an elaborate security mission during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, without sacrificing normal police services to the city and its residents. Atlanta established new standards and a model for other cities in preparing for large events.
1997 The Department implemented a new truancy plan that included the cooperative efforts of APD, Atlanta Public Schools, MARTA, Juvenile Court and the Atlanta Housing Authority.
1997 In an effort to bring citizens closer to APD, the Department was the first Georgia law enforcement agency on the Internet.
1998 The Atlanta Police Department developed and implemented its annual Comprehensive Crime Reduction Plan and implemented a multifaceted Comprehensive Homicide Initiative.
1998 The Atlanta Police Department hosted its first Citizen’s Police Academy. The goal was to bring citizens closer to their police department, to educate them in departmental operations and to obtain valuable feedback to improve police operations and enhance community relations.
1999 The Department worked to further improve its technological capabilities by computerizing the investigation function in the Criminal Investigations Division.
1999 Solved the 1975 murder of Atlanta Police Detective Sam Guy.
2000 The Police Athletic League more than doubled youth participation of youth taking advantage of PAL programs throughout the year.
2000 The Bureau of Taxicabs and Vehicles for Hire created and implemented an automated tracking system for cash receipts, fines and all transactions involving a Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience.
2001 Investigator Sherry Lyons-Williams is shot and killed while executing a narcotics warrant. She is the first female officer to die in the line of duty.
2002 Chief Richard Pennington appointed as the Chief of Police by Mayor Shirley Franklin.
2003 Chief Pennington establishes Command Operating Briefing to Revitalize Atlanta (COBRA). This is the agency’s weekly crime statistics meeting.
2003 The Department created the Homeland Security Unit one of the first of its kind in the Nation.
2003 The Atlanta Police Foundation is a non-profit, public/private partnership focused on advancing public safety in Atlanta. In partnership with the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Police Department and the business community, the APF provides research on policing best practices, strategic direction and resources to help the APD incubate innovation, keep pace with technology, and meet strategic time-sensitive needs that help drive down crime and make Atlanta a safer city.
2004 The Linder Group publishes Fragile Momentum, a comprehensive report on APD detailing problems and recommended solutions.
2004 For the first time in 30 years zone and beat boundaries are revised, increasing city-wide beats from 56 to 66.
2005 The Department earns its initial accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
2009 The Atlanta Police Department moved into the state of the art Public Safety headquarters building located at 226 Peachtree Street.
2010 Chief George N. Turner is named Chief of Police by Mayor Kasim Reed.
2010 The department begins an aggressive recruitment campaign to hire officers in collaboration with the Atlanta Police Foundation in an effort to have a 2,000-member sworn force.
2010 The Department creates the Community Oriented Police Section, allowing for veteran police officers to focus on forging proactive crime-fighting partnerships.
2010 The Department received its reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).
2010 A new department website is launched with zone-specific, city-wide citizen alert system and launched a new careers website featuring an online application.
2011 The Video Integration Center is opened. The VIC uses state-of-the-art technology to increase the department’s “eyes and ears” on the street by integrating public and private video cameras into a network.
2011 The Domestic Violence Squad is created. It is dedicated to tracking domestic offenses; and in particular, deterring repeat offenders.
2011 A comprehensive Beat/Zone Re-Design initiative is implemented; the results allow for better response time through equitable workload distribution.