Atlanta Police Department

The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is a law enforcement agency in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

Atlanta Police Department
Rising Again
Agency overview
Formed1873; 150 years ago (1873)
Annual budget$204,754,624 (2020)
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdictionAtlanta, Georgia, U.S.
Fulton County Georgia Municipalities Map Atlanta Highlighted.svg
Jurisdiction of the Atlanta Police Department
Size136.76 square miles (354.2 km2) (total) (land)
Population506,811 (2019)[1]
Legal jurisdictionCity of Atlanta
Operational structure
Police Officers1,447
Corrections personnel and Civilian members223
Mayor of Atlanta responsible
Agency executive
  • Airport
  • Zone 1
  • Zone 2
  • Zone 3
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6

The city shifted from its rural-based Marshal and Deputy Marshal model at the end of the 19th century. In 1873, the department was formed with 26 officers. Thomas Jones was elected the first Atlanta Chief of Police by the city council. The agency is located at: 226 Peachtree St SW, Atlanta, Ga. 30303.[2]

The 1,400+ officer force is currently being led by Police Chief Darin Schierbaum. The city has operated at a deficit of its 2,000 officer authorized strength for at least 20 years.

Ranks and insigniaEdit

Title Insignia Shirt Color Badge Color Information
Chief of Police White Gold Commander of the APD.
Assistant Chief White Gold Second-in-command of the APD.
Deputy Chief White Gold Commander of a Division.
Major White Gold Commander of a Section or Zone.
Captain White Gold Second-in-command of a Section or Zone.
Lieutenant Dark Blue Gold Commander of a Unit.
Sergeant Dark Blue Gold Supervisor.
Investigator No Insignia Dark Blue Silver
Senior Police Officer No Insignia Dark Blue Silver
Police Officer No Insignia Dark Blue Silver


The Atlanta Police Department works with the City of Atlanta Corrections Department, which operates three jails:

Jail Type of inmate
City Detention Center Pretrial arrestees, sentenced ordinance and traffic offenders and custody of federal prisoners awaiting trial pursuant to a contract with the U.S. Marshals Service
Grady Detention Center Custodial services patients at the general hospital (Grady Memorial Hospital)
Court Detention Center Prisoner movements for judicial proceedings in the Municipal Court


Breakdown of the makeup of the rank and file of APD as of 2013:[3]

  • Male: 82%
  • Female: 18%
  • African American/Black: 58%
  • Caucasian/ White: 37%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Asian: 1%


A federal investigation was conducted into the Atlanta Police Department's practices after the 2006 killing of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, who shot at officers as they entered her home unannounced on a no-knock warrant. Prosecutors alleged that the officers falsified information and documents after the killing to justify the serving of the warrant. On April 26, 2007, two officers pleaded guilty to manslaughter, violation of oath, criminal solicitation, and making false statements. One additionally pleaded guilty to perjury.[4]

On July 8, 2011, it was reported in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that six police officers were fired for lying about events concerning the Atlanta Eagle police raid (which targeted the Atlanta Eagle, a gay bar). In June 2011, a 343-page report was released that details how 16 officers lied or destroyed evidence when asked about the raid on the Eagle Bar. At least two of the officers in question had been cited for lying on another occasion in a federal drug case in October 2009 (the federal prosecutors informed the Atlanta Police Department that they would never be used again in a federal prosecution).[5]

On April 8, 2011, APD officers shot a 64-year-old U.S. Marine veteran who had fired several shots at the ground in front of a man who was stealing from him, which was a frequent occurrence.[6] He lost his kidney, and while he was eventually released from prison in early November after prosecutors finally dropped charges—after threatening him with 105 years in prison[6]—his home and that of his deceased father had been looted and burnt by criminals who stole almost all his personal and business possessions.[6][7] APD officers claimed Sturdivant pointed his rifle at the officers, who never identified themselves, a point disputed by Sturdivant's public defender given that the one bullet of the 14 officers fired that actually hit him, traveled through the side of the rifle's stock.[6]

On May 30, 2020, during the George Floyd protests in Georgia, Atlanta police pulled two black students from their car, broke a car window, and used Tasers to shock them. This came after officers arrested a classmate of theirs whom they wanted to pick up; an officer ordered the students to continue driving, which they complied. One officer claimed that one of the students possessed a gun, but no gun was found. One of the students stated that he was punched over 10 times in the back after being arrested. Within days, six officers were charged as a result of the incident; two were fired, and four were put on administrative leave. The Fulton County District Attorney, Paul Howard, stated that the two college students were "innocent almost to the point of being naive".[8][9][10]

On June 12, 2020, APD officers were called to a Wendy's, where the suspect, Rayshard Brooks, was sleeping inside of a car with its engine on in the drive-thru lane of the establishment. Officers conducted a field-sobriety test on Brooks, which he failed, leading officers to attempt to put him in custody. According to the GBI, Brooks resisted and got into a physical struggle with an officer, which led to Brooks grabbing a taser from the officer. Once Brooks got a hold of the taser, he began to flee. Surveillance footage shows Brooks fleeing about seven parking spaces in the parking lot. Brooks then turned around and fired the taser at the officer chasing him. That led to the officer retrieving and discharging his service weapon, firing three times at Brooks, striking him two times in the back. Brooks was taken to a local hospital, where he died after emergency surgery.[11]

On January 18, 2023, Atlanta police officers shot and killed Manuel Teran, who was protesting the deforestation of 300 acres of public park in Altanta to build a $90-million police training facility; critics have disdainfully dubbed the project "Cop City" and claim it will be used to practice urban warfare.[12]

Equipment used by the Atlanta Police DepartmentEdit

Vehicles: Ford Police Interceptor equipped with state-of-the-art Whelen LED Lighting packages and digital control consoles along with Panasonic Toughbook Mobile Data Terminals. In fall 2013, the Atlanta Police Department began phasing new Ford Taurus Police interceptors into its fleet to replace the old Crown Victoria interceptors. The entire fleet totals around 300 vehicles and the remaining Crown Victoria interceptors will be phased out as they lose usefulness. [13]

Communications: Motorola Digital 800 MHz Trunking system that is one of the largest in the country and utilizes 24 channels. This system provides voice and data communications for the Atlanta Police, Fire, Watershed, Corrections and other Municipal Departments. The Atlanta Police Radio System also provides voice and data communications for the Georgia State Patrol inside of the Atlanta Metropolitan area and the City of Hapeville, The City of East Point, and the City of College Park.

Weapons: The department has transitioned to a 9mm handgun, the Glock 17 Gen 4, phasing out the .40 S&W Glock 22. The reason for this was modern 9x19mm bullet effectiveness and the fact 9mm puts less wear on the gun's components due to lower pressures compared to .40 S&W. The APD has standardized Winchester PDX1 147 grain 9mm ammunition.

The APD also trains and issues the AR-15 to many of its patrol officers to aid in tactical situations where a pistol and shotgun are out matched.

Police patrol zones of AtlantaEdit

Map showing the Atlanta Police Zones in February 2013

In the City of Atlanta, there are six "patrol zones" (more commonly known as just "zones") which lie under the jurisdiction of the Field Operations Division of the Atlanta Police Department.[14][15]

Zones and constituent neighborhoodsEdit

Zone 1 covers the city's northwest side, west of Downtown Atlanta and north of I-20. Zone 2 covers all of the city's northern area. The Zone 3 area is located on the south/southeast and parts of southwest side of the city. The Zone 4 area is located on the southwest side of Atlanta. Zone 5 encompasses the central portion of APD's jurisdiction. Zone 6 includes all but the northernmost part of Atlanta's Eastside.

Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6
Ashview Heights Buckhead Capitol View Adamsville Downtown Atlanta Cabbagetown
Atlanta University Center West Midtown Capitol View Manor Ben Hill Five Points Candler Park
Bankhead Lenox Park Joyland Cascade Heights Georgia State University East Atlanta
English Avenue and Vine City Lindridge-Martin Manor Lakewood Heights Greenbriar Centennial Olympic Park East Lake
Center Hill Piedmont Heights Mechanicsville Westview Mercedes-Benz Stadium Grant Park
Carey Park Peoplestown Oakland City State Farm Arena Glenwood Park
Collier Heights Pittsburgh Venetian Hills Georgia Aquarium Kirkwood
Grove Park Summerhill West End Georgia Tech Old Fourth Ward
Hunter Hills Villages at Carver Piedmont Park Edgewood
Knight Park-Howell Station Moreland Avenue Atlantic Station Poncey-Highland
Mozley Park Home Park Reynoldstown
Washington Park Castleberry Hill
West Highlands Centennial Place Virginia-


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "2018 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved Feb 12, 2020.
  2. ^ "Contact Us | Atlanta Police Department".
  3. ^ "US Dept. of Labor" (PDF). 2016. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. ^ "Police officer, ex-officer plead guilty in woman's killing". Associated Press. 2007-04-26. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007.
  5. ^ "6 Atlanta officers fired over Atlanta Eagle raid". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 2011-07-08.
  6. ^ a b c d Rhonda Cook (10 November 2011). "Man facing 105 years in prison for shooting at would-be thief". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  7. ^ Rhonda Cook (11 November 2011). "Charges dropped against veteran". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
  8. ^ Deere, Stephen; Boone, Christian (June 1, 2020). "Police body camera footage reveals details of confrontation". Archived from the original on June 5, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  9. ^ Brumback, Kate (June 3, 2020). "6 Atlanta officers charged after students pulled from car". Associated Press. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  10. ^ Burns, Asia (June 2, 2020). "6 Atlanta officers charged after confrontation with college students". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Archived from the original on June 2, 2020. Retrieved June 5, 2020.
  11. ^ "Man dies after being shot by Atlanta police at Wendy's, GBI investigating". ABC News. Retrieved 2020-06-14.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Eloy, Michell. "APD Rolls Out New Patrol Cars". Retrieved 2017-08-27.
  14. ^ "Atlanta Police Department Field Operations Division". Archived from the original on 2013-03-13. Retrieved 2013-03-04.
  15. ^ "Find My Zone". Atlanta Police Department. Archived from the original on 2017-08-27.

External linksEdit