Atlanta is moving to construct the country’s largest militarized police training facility.

By Jane houseal, Teen Vogue

This year, the night before Valentine’s Day, more than 200 people attended a city council meeting in Fitchburg, a suburb of Madison, Wisconsin. The house was packed because of one agenda item in particular: plans for a new $50 million police station, featuring a “regional training facility.” The plans, which were first proposed in late 2023, alarmed community members who have been fighting police violence in Wisconsin.

Protesters gathered on 5th Avenue and march to JP Morgan Headquarters in New York to rally against Atlanta Cop City on March 9, 2023

Freedom, Inc., a Madison-based queer feminist organization working in low-to-no-income Black and Southeast Asian communities, began mobilizing the community in response to the proposed plans. They drew comparisons to the Atlanta Public Safety Training Center, a large police training compound that has caused massive controversy and which local activists have dubbed “Cop City.” In the lead-up to Fitchburg’s city council meeting, organizers hosted teach-ins, gathered more than 1,600 signatures for a “Say No to Cop City Fitchburg” petition and canvassed the neighborhood, talking to, by their estimate, over 3,000 people.

They got the results they wanted — for now. After the meeting, which ran past midnightthe plans for the $49.2 million facility were rejected. The proposal is being sent back to the city’s design team, where it must be reworked to fit the original $35 million budget and be approved by the city council.

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