Atlanta Police Shines Light On Its All-Black Women Traffic Squad
The City of Atlanta’s Police Department is highlighting a special unit, one that is composed of all-Black female officers who conduct traffic stops within the city.
Traffic units such as these are considered to be among the most dangerous tasks in the force. The work extends beyond the mundane tasks of ticketing those who violate traffic regulations; they must also stop the those who commit more threatening acts on a daily basis.
Speaking to WSB-TV, members of the unit elaborated on their wide-ranging cases and responsibilities, and how this representation comes with its own pros and cons.
“Compared to when I came on the department, this is very unusual to have this many females, especially this many Black females,” shared Sgt. Tiffany Hampton. “And for this to be a traffic unit, you know traffic is one of the most dangerous calls that we could go on.”
Officer Michaela Herring told WSB-TV that she stopped two suspects last month who were accused of shooting random bystanders with an airsoft gun. The driver was out on bond for murder; the passenger was wanted for family violence.
Her shared identity with the fellow officers in her squad makes their bond as police officers even stronger, as encountering discrimination due to it is not uncommon.
“That comes with the job, so you honestly have to love what you do,” said another officer.
Their role in this unit is also one of prevention. The initial step to “keeping the communities safe” often begins with traffic stops.
“We’re looking for people who are carrying contraband, people who are a danger to themselves or others,” Herring said. “[We’re] just really keeping the community safe and a lot of those interactions start in the vehicle.”
As the APD deals with everyday occurrences, they are showcasing their strides in diversity as women take over the roles that are directly impactful in citizens’ safety.