SOUTH FULTON (CBS46) -- The city of South Fulton is leading the way for police reform. This week the city became the first in the state implement the “Eight Can’t Wait” legislation.

“This is why you march, this is why you’re upset, and right now we’re currently addressing it in real time,” said City of South Fulton council-member Mark Baker referring to their latest effort to implement police reform.

“One of them, ironically is requiring officers to exhaust all options before shooting. I think that is like the bare minimum that you could request,” said Baker.

The council unanimously approved the “Eight Can’t Wait” legislation. It includes requiring officers to de-escalate, giving a warning before shooting, and banning chokeholds.

“A duty to intervene, is also one of the “Eight Can’t Wait instances,” said South Fulton Police Chief Keith Meadows. “Most of what police officers do is actually intervening when we see violations of the law occurring and we want to make sure our officers know that extends to our police officers as well,” added Meadows.

Meadows says his officers are already performing many of the “Eight Can’t Wait” best practices and making them police policy will help ensure the community and officer safety.

“We need to have standards. If we call ourselves a profession then we need to have standards and those standards have to go across a broad array of different strategies throughout the nation not just South Fulton” added Meadows.

As for Baker who sponsored the legislation he says their goal is to remind officers that they are here to serve the community.

“They’re first responders, so if you’re choking the subject, you’re a first responder, then that’s not your job. Your job is to actually administer help and relief even if you’re trying to affect an arrest,” said Baker.

Copyright 2020 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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