The Midtown Ponce Security Alliance, a nonprofit group that operates security patrols and promotes public safety in the bustling neighborhood, is none too pleased after a well-liked zone commander claimed he was "forced" into retirement after speaking out about proposed beat changes.
The group last night released its open letter to Mayor Kasim Reed, the Atlanta City Council and Atlanta Police Chief George Turner, touting Major Khirus Williams' public safety record in the community — and requesting a sitdown about what led to his ouster:
We implore you in this open letter, in your role as elected and public officials, to reassure the greater community that a decision over a political difference of opinion will not stand — one that truly had the best interest of the Midtown and surrounding community at its core. As a neighborhood-based community service organization we find it upsetting and discomforting that one of the best of Atlanta’s very finest would be ousted for genuinely serving our community. It was Major Williams’ opinion, and one in which we agree, that he was serving the best safety interests of our community by calling out an utmost destructive proposal to eliminate critical policing strategies.
We are hereby asking for a public meeting where the Mayor and Chief of Police will have the opportunity to explain to residents of Zone 5 and others, how this entire episode came to be, will answer questions from the audience, and hopefully allow us to come to a better conclusion where everyone is not a loser. A political difference of opinion is not worth the loss of Major Williams.
Read the full letter here.
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Forgot to say good work helping get it removed from the Capitol, Joeff. Thank you.