Geography professor's map shows police training facility supporters don't live nearby

An aerial map of Atlanta's southeastern metro area shows the location of the Old Prison Farm, at right, in a 2017 planning document. The site was slated to be folded into a network of public parks — but a large public safety training center is now poised to take up a chunk of that real estate. (Atlanta City Design)

Local politicians and law enforcement have often said protesters of the police training facility better known as “Cop City” are outsiders — not from Atlanta.

A geographer at Georgia State University decided to look into where supporters of the training facility are located.

Professor Taylor Shelton mapped out where various supporters live and found very few live near the proposed site, with many located outside of Atlanta.

“They aren’t from communities either near or that look like those that are going to be in closest proximity to the training facility site,” said Shelton.

Shelton says upwards of half of those in various organizations appointed to guide the training facility project live outside of the city limits.

He acknowledged his own bias in that he supports the movement to “Stop Cop City,” but said that doesn’t make the numbers untrue, and given who will be most affected by its construction, it’s worth considering where they live.