Authorities in Georgia on Friday closed a park near the planned site of an expansive police training facility that critics call "Cop City." Photo courtesy Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE
March 24 (UPI) -- Authorities in Georgia said Friday they are closing a park near the site of a planned police training center after finding dangerous items throughout the park.
DeKalb County CEO Michael Thurmond issued an executive order to close Intrenchment Creek Park, citing "dangerous and possible life-threatening conditions."
Thurmond said that boards with nails in them were found around the park.
"We take this very serious action because we know there are dangers that have been discovered in this area and we are afraid that there might be other hidden traps that will not only injure and maim but could literally become deadly for children, pets and others," Thurmond said during a press conference Friday afternoon, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Plans for a new $90 million police and firefighter training facility on acres of forest land have been met by staunch opposition from critics who call it Cop City. The plan was announced by former Democratic Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms in September 2021.
Earlier this month, 23 protestors were arrested and charged with domestic terrorism.
Police said "violent agitators" were dressed in black and entered the construction site, where they destroyed several pieces of construction equipment by fire and vandalism. Multiple police agencies were deployed to detain the suspects, who are accused of throwing rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails and fireworks.
"Actions such as this will not be tolerated," Atlanta police chief Darin Schierbaum told reporters during press conference. "When you attack law enforcement officers, when you damage equipment, you are breaking the law."
Thurmond added Friday that anyone who enters the park could face charges, including criminal trespassing.