Metro Atlanta agencies offer reward for information about fires at police sites

FILE - Atlanta Police Chief Darin Schierbaum speaks to reporters near the scene of a shooting on May 3, 2023 in Atlanta. Schierbaum on Tuesday, Aug. 1, urged the public to come forward with information about those who set police motorcycles on fire last month in protest over the planned construction of a public safety training center that critics call “Cop City.” (AP Photo/Alex Slitz, File)

Law enforcement officials are offering $200,000 for information about various fires set around the metro Atlanta area. They say these fires to police precincts and construction equipment are related to protests of the city’s planned public safety training center. 

Atlanta Police, Atlanta Fire Rescue, the FBI, the Atlanta Police Foundation, GBI and Georgia Arson Control are among the local agencies that pooled funds for the reward. They are working with Crime Stoppers to keep any reports anonymous. 

Atlanta Chief of Police Darin Schierbaum said the agencies hope to find a few individuals responsible for more than 20 fires in multiple states that have caused nearly $10 million of damage. He acknowledged the reward amount was much higher than many Crime Stoppers rewards for information about crimes. 

“We’re working very hard and aggressively to hold those individuals accountable, to remove him from the streets, and to make sure they can not use fire yet again as a tool to put lives in danger and impact the first responder network right here in Atlanta,” he said.

Six people were arrested in January for felony arson after protests in downtown Atlanta. They are being tried as part of a 61-person RICO case regarding protests of the planned public safety training center. 

Schierbaum says there are still eight unsolved fires, including three that destroyed a contractor’s equipment who worked on the controversial public safety training center.