We still feel strongly that the EASP provides an important service and has been a catalyst for making our community safer, and that the officers who we employ are working with us because they care about the East Atlanta community. Yes, they are paid for patrolling our streets, but most of our officers go above and beyond, often passing on information while they're not working a shift, or working past the end of their shift to complete a call.
Obviously we're all searching for answers in our hearts, and wondering if we are part of the problem, and how we can better come to grips with the fears and challenges many of our neighbors face on a daily basis. While violent encounters with the police have been discussed a lot, the fear and bias many blacks and people of color face extends through most of the criminal justice system. By listening to these concerns, whether they be decriminalizing marijuana possession, ending cash bail or more carefully evaluating police budgets, we all must begin be part of the effort toward eliminating the racism prevalent in the daily lives of many of our citizens.
One thing has been apparent in the nearly fourteen years that the EASP has been operating is that our community, and our members in particular, rarely report suspicious activity due to the color of someone's skin. While that is a start, there is so much more that we can do. We need to ensure that no children face obstacles to getting a good education, having equal opportunities, and most importantly to equal treatment as they walk, bike or drive through our streets. Many adults face these same challenges, but we need to work toward the day when parents aren't forced to coach their children on how to navigate the same minefields that previous generations have had to experience.
We will be communicating with each officer in the coming week that any racial profiling or unnecessary aggression will result in their immediate dismissal. There has always been a no tolerance policy with our officers, and fortunately we've never had any complaints about racist behavior or aggressive responses by an EASP officer. We are excited that all of our officers want to return to duty next week, subject to any demands that APD may have relative to ongoing protests. And in case you were wondering, all of our officers at this time are either Black or Hispanic. That is not by design, as we have always worked with Zone 6 to hire the best officers available relative to our community's needs, regardless of race, sex or anything that doesn't directly impact their ability to perform the duties of the job.
If you have feedback about the patrol's mission or concerns about the operation of the service going forward, please let us know. There is always room for improvement, and in today's environment, we want to be sure we serve as much of the community as possible. One of our original goals was to always respond to calls from anyone in the community, even if they can't afford to be a paying member, and that policy has never changed. We're here to support all citizens who may need extra assistance, and often with quicker response times than APD officers working their normal shift can provide.