Atlanta Police Foundation JOINATLANTAPD.ORG
For over 150 years, the people of Atlanta have benefited from the bravery and dedication of the individuals who have sworn to protect and serve them. Over those many years, the Atlanta Police Department has achieved numerous milestones, while solidifying its roles as a force for positive change, and becoming the premier law enforcement agency we are today.

Highlights from our proud history include:

1853 First Atlanta policeman
1858 Number of policemen increases to 20
1873 First Police Chief, Thomas Jones is elected
1897 Atlanta Police Department Bicycle Squad organized
1911 Atlanta Police Department acquires first motorized vehicles - motorcycles and auto patrol wagons
1915 First police school of intensive instruction is created
1917 Eleven Atlanta police officers serve in armed forces during WWI
1918 Atlanta Police Department completely motorized; first two policewomen appointed
1942-45 One hundred and twenty-nine Atlanta police officers serve in WWII
1948 First Black police officers go on duty
1955 Howard Baugh and Ernest Lyons become the first Black police detectives - 15 Black officers on the force
1957 First women assigned to regular beats
1961 Howard Baugh becomes first Black superior officer
1969 Racial barriers were removed and Black and White officers begun working side-by-side
1971 First African-American female officer hired
1982 First woman to hold the rank of Deputy Chief in a major police department is appointed
1991 First woman in the department to obtain the rank of major
1994 Beverly J. Harvard becomes the first Black woman to hold the rank of Chief of Police of a major city
1996 The Olympics and Paralympics mobilizes the city in preparation for the largest peacetime event in Atlanta history
1997 APD goes online as Georgia's first law enforcement agency on the Internet - www.atlantapd.org
1998 The department establishes the Atlanta Police Academy Campus of the Georgia Military College, enabling employees to pursue an Associate of Science degree at the department
2002 Chief Pennington establishes COBRA
2003 The Atlanta Police Academy graduates 4 classes
2004 The first lateral transfer officers started at the Training Academy as part of the Lateral Transfer Program
2008 APD launches a new careers website featuring an online application
2013 The Department creates the Path Force Unit, a dedicated public safety resource for the Atlanta BeltLine and adjacent parks.
2013 The Department reaches historic staffing level of 2,000 sworn police officers.
2016 The Atlanta Police Department (APD) is one of 15 law enforcement agencies out of 18,000 in the nation to be recognized for implementing the 21st century policing methods. APD obtained a model city designation for our efforts to implement and follow the 59 recommendations set in place by President Barack Obama’s Task Force On 21st Century Policing.
2016 The Atlanta Police Department deployed Body Worn Cameras.
2016 Chief Erika Shields became the 26th Police Chief for the City of Atlanta. She is the 2nd woman to hold the position. She was sworn in on December 28, 2016.