Clark Atlanta University to receive Federal Appropriations Earmark Award of $630,000 for Public Safety Enhancement Project from Congresswoman Nikema Williams

United States Congresswoman Nikema Williams recently announced that she has secured more than $12 million in community project funding for Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District and requested an appropriated earmark award of $630,000 for public safety improvements at Clark Atlanta University. The funding falls under Federal Nexus—funding provided by the federal government for private land— under the purposes of Section 501 of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968, which is consistent with the stated purpose of said Act that reads … to prevent crime and to insure (sic) the greater safety of the people, law enforcement efforts must be better coordinated, intensified, and made more effective at all levels of government.  

The funding would be used to upgrade the campus’ security camera system and create a video integration communication center and fusion platform. The project would also enable CAU to replace emergency call boxes across campus, supporting the safety and security of its scholars and those attending other schools within the Atlanta University Center Consortium.   

“Through this award from Congresswoman Nikema Williams, Clark Atlanta University is poised to elevate our campus security with the highest-quality technology,” said President George T. French Jr., Ph.D. “The safety of our students is paramount, and we will continue our commitment to frequently evaluating and strengthening our safety measures and supporting the excellent work of our dedicated chief of police and campus police department.” 

The video integration communication center (VIC) will allow CAU’s public safety team to better observe larger areas throughout the campus via an expanded integrated camera network. It will also offer an opportunity to connect with the Atlanta Police Department to amplify instantaneous situational awareness. The VIC will serve as a security enforcement hub, resulting in more robust crime and emergency detection and reduced harm and damage to campus inhabitants and visitors.   

Additional safety measures will include updating the emergency call boxes to blue light call boxes integrated with security cameras and enhanced lighting. The new blue light call boxes will be placed strategically around campus, especially in frequently traveled, dimly lit areas.  

“Our students are the lifeblood of this institution, so their safety is our top priority on this campus. We work diligently to enhance security features and safety protocols to protect our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. This award allows us to further bolster our efforts in increasing security measures through real-time camera surveillance and observation,” said Debra Williams, Clark Atlanta University’s Chief of Police, Associate Vice President, and Director of Emergency Management.  

As security enhancements begin, Chief Williams encourages students, parents, and employees to continue to use the Panther Safe App for area crime alerts and other features, including Mobile Blue Light, Friend Walk, and Virtual Walk Home.  

“We will continue our dedicated work to keep everyone safe on Clark Atlanta University’s campus and surrounding areas which cannot be done without awards such as this, by Congresswoman Williams. As we say here at Clark Atlanta University, it takes all of us to create safe places to live, learn, work, and play. This award is one major step in that direction,” added Chief Williams.  


About Clark Atlanta University  

Clark Atlanta University was formed with the consolidation of Atlanta University and Clark College, both of which hold unique places in the annals of African American history. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, established four years later in 1869, was the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population. Today, with nearly 4,000 students, CAU is the largest of the four institutions (CAU, Morehouse College, Spelman College, and Morehouse School of Medicine) that compose the Atlanta University Center Consortium. It is also the largest of the 37-member UNCF institutions. Notable alumni include: James Weldon Johnson, American civil rights activist, poet, and songwriter (Lift Every Voice and Sing – “The Black National Anthem”; Ralph David Abernathy, Sr., American civil rights activist; Congressman Hank Johnson, Georgia District 4; Kenya Barris, American award-winning television and movie producer; Kenny Leon, Tony Award-winning Broadway Director; Jacque Reid, Emmy Award-winning Television Personality and Journalist; Brandon Thompson, Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion for NASCAR; Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer at the Recording Academy. To learn more about Clark Atlanta University, visit