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Mayor Kasim Reed Selects George N. Turner as Nominee for Chief of Police of the City of Atlanta

Post Date:07/09/2010
Crime Down Significantly from January-June 2010 Under Mayor Kasim Reed and Interim Chief George Turner

Mayor Kasim Reed today announced his selection of City of Atlanta Interim Chief of Police George N. Turner as the finalist for the Chief of Police.

An Atlanta native, Turner has 29 years of law enforcement experience with the City’s police department, including work as a family and youth services section police major, zone commander, human resources commander and deputy chief of police. In January, he was appointed as the Interim Chief of Police by newly-elected Mayor Kasim Reed.

During the six-month period since Turner’s appointment as Interim Chief of Police, the Atlanta Police Department’s performance shows a marked improvement in crime levels, crime case resolution and recruitment. Interim Chief Turner’s leadership not only has proven to be effective, it also has delivered strong and significant results in public safety for the citizens of Atlanta.

“We don’t have time to lose,” Mayor Reed said. “We do not have the luxury of waiting for a new chief to come in and learn about the issues that most concern our residents. Interim Chief Turner knows the City’s neighborhoods and the people who live in them. The results we are seeing suggest we are moving in the right direction and I want to build on the progress we have made. To disrupt that momentum would not be in the best interest of the City’s residents.”

“I have found Interim Chief Turner to be honest, hard-working and open to change and new ideas,” Mayor Reed said. “I think he has the right blend of integrity, knowledge, commitment and curiosity --- traits which are vital for an effective police chief. I also believe Interim Chief Turner cares about every single police officer in the department and that he genuinely loves the City of Atlanta and its diverse neighborhoods and residents.”

Crime Down in Atlanta

According to Federal Bureau of Investigation certified crime reports from January-April 2010, crime in Atlanta under Mayor Reed and Interim Chief Turner is down 14 percent compared to the same period in 2009. This represents a reduction in both violent and property crimes, as shown below:

  • 22.7 percent decrease in violent crimes (including homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assaults)
  • 12.3 percent decrease in property crimes (including auto theft, burglary and larceny

Crime case resolution also has improved significantly since January, compared to the same period in 2009. The clearance rate improved most strongly for homicide and rape; those clearance rates are now double the national average. By crime category, crime clearance rates are shown below. The 2008 national average is noted in parenthesis:

  • Aggravated assault clearance rate increased from 59 to 63 percent (54.9 percent)
  • Homicide clearance rate increased from 67 to 80 percent (63.6 percent)
  • Rape clearance rate increased from 67 to 81 percent (40.4 percent)
  • Robbery clearance rate remains at 21 percent (26.8 percent)
  • Auto theft clearance rate dropped from 10 to 9 percent (12 percent)
  • Burglary clearance rate remained at 9 percent (12.5 percent)
  • Larceny clearance rate increased from 19 to 20 percent (19.9 percent)

Additionally, in the past six months, the APD has hired the second-highest number of police officers compared to any other six-month period in the past 10 years. Between January 1st and July 1st, APD hired 147 officers in collaboration with the Atlanta Police Foundation. By contrast, during the same time six-month time period, APD hired 35 officers in 2009; 80 officers in 2008; 89 officers in 2007; 81 officers in 2006; and 62 officers in 2005.

Vacancies were above 100 positions in January 2010. As of June 30, the APD had only 26 vacancies, the lowest level in several years. In FY11, the authorized sworn strength of APD will be 1859, slightly short of the City’s long-standing goal to have a police force of 2000 police officers.

Mayor Reed said that Interim Chief Turner’s career demonstrates that the City of Atlanta can grow and develop strong future leaders.

“I think it’s vital that our men and women in blue know that if they are loyal, work hard, and give their career in law enforcement their full energy and effort, they can ultimately lead the Atlanta Police Department,” Mayor Reed said.

Deep Commitment to the City of Atlanta

Turner joined the Atlanta Police Department on July 24, 1981. He was educated in the Atlanta Public Schools system and attended Clark Atlanta University. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice from Saint Leo University and a Master of Public Administration degree from Columbus State University.

As Deputy Chief of Police, Turner’s responsibilities included managing the day-to-day operations of Information Services, Computer Services, Training Academy, Human Resources, Corporate Services, the e-911 Center and the department’s $160 million budget. From 2005 to 2007, Turner commanded the Human Resources Section with the responsibility of overseeing 2200 employees and the Background & Recruitment Unit, which was successful in hiring a record number of officers – 204 officers in 2006 and 251 in 2007.

He also served as Commander of the Zone One precinct in northwest Atlanta, one of the most challenging areas of the City. During his two-year command there, he was responsible for a 17 percent reduction in overall crime and a 25 percent reduction in homicides.

“As the next Chief of Police for the Atlanta Police Department, I plan on making our department one of the best in the country,” Turner said. “With the funding for 100 additional officers and the recently approved salary increase, we are headed in the right direction.”

“I would like to thank Mayor Reed for his belief in my ability, passion and unswerving dedication to our great City,” Turner added. “I am excited to lead the brave men and women of the department as we continue to make Atlanta a better and safer place in which to live, work and relax.”

Apart from his responsibilities at APD, Turner continues to be involved in the community and serves on the boards of the Atlanta Police Athletic League and the Georgia METROPOL. He is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives, (NOBLE), Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and the Police Executive Research Forum. He completed the United States Secret Service Academy, Small Detail Training and the Police Executive Research Forum with the Senior Management Institute.

Unprecedented Police Search and Town Hall Meeting

Placing public safety at the foundation of his Administration’s policies, Mayor Reed conducted the most open and transparent police chief search in the City of Atlanta’s history. His selection of Interim Chief Turner is the result of a three-month national search conducted on the City’s behalf by an appointed search committee. The committee worked with Russell Reynolds, an executive search firm, and together they interviewed and recommended five candidates to lead the City’s Police Department.

After receiving the recommendations, Mayor Reed and Chief Operating Officer Peter Aman individually interviewed each of the final five candidates, and then narrowed the list down to three. The final three candidates that they selected for Atlanta Police Chief were Dr. Cedric L. Alexander, City of Atlanta Interim Chief George N. Turner and Louisville Police Chief Robert Crump White.

On June 3, members of the Atlanta Citizen Review met with the three candidates. That evening, Mayor Reed hosted an unprecedented town hall meeting, fulfilling a promise he made during his campaign and from which he never wavered. The nearly two-hour long meeting at the Atlanta Civic Center allowed the community to have an open dialogue with the three final candidates.

The meeting was open to the public and featured a Q & A session in which the candidates gave a brief overview of their qualifications and answered a round of questions posed by audience members and moderators Deidra Dukes, Fox 5 reporter and weekend anchor, and Bill Nigut, Southeast Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League and a former WSB reporter.

In making his selection, Mayor Reed thanked the Atlanta Police Department Chief Search Committee, which was chaired by Georgia State University Police Chief Connie Sampson and included: Rev. Joanna Adams, Lou Arcangeli, Rosel Fann, Rev. Walter Kimbrough, Lt. Scott Kreher, Robin Loudermilk, Kyle Keyser, Tiffany Williams, Philip Rafshoon, Irene Richardson, Earl Williamson and Dave Wilkinson.

Turner’s nomination must be confirmed by the Atlanta City Council.


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