Some complain that new animal cruelty officer puts emphasis on a - CBS46 News

Some complain that new animal cruelty officer puts emphasis on animals vs people

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)

The Atlanta Police Department is hiring an animal cruelty officer. Some people told CBS46 they feel like the police department is putting an emphasis on animals vs. people, and others say they would like to see their tax dollars going toward more officers on the streets, or more training for those officers to better interact with the communities they serve.

Councilwoman Carla Smith pushed to hire Atlanta's first animal cruelty officer.

"I'm really proud that we're showing compassion toward animals," says Smith.

CBS46 has learned the police department is re-assigning an officer, so this is not a new position.

"Hopefully this will be preventive because she can go out and see where someone is not treating an animal correctly, or teaching them to fight," says Smith.

"I really feel like that would be wasting taxpayer dollars," says one person.

"In an event where so many crucial things are going on with animals harming kids, it seems to be a good fit for the occasion, but more money could be used on underpaid positions, such as officers or city employees," says another person. 

CBS46 has learned that the police department is not fully staffed as nearly 300 people need to be hired.

"We've got officers that help humans everyday," says another person. "She is just one officer."

 CBS46 reached out to the Atlanta Police Department to find out how many animal cruelty cases they have investigated this year, but they would not provide us with any information.

The animal cruelty officer starts full time Thursday. 

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