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Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker will retire in April after 30 years with the police department

Crime and public safety Decatur Trending

Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker will retire in April after 30 years with the police department

Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker
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Decatur, GA — Decatur Police Chief Mike Booker will retire in April after serving more than 30 years in the police department and 15 as chief, the city of Decatur announced.

Booker has served as a patrol officer, field training officer, patrol supervisor, an investigator, a supervisor over the criminal investigations division, an instructor, a patrol division commander and as a deputy police chief before being promoted to his current role in June 2006.

He joined the department in 1990.

Deputy Chief Scott Richards will serve as the Acting Police Chief while the City conducts a recruitment process, according to City Manager Andrea Arnold.

“It has been an honor and privilege to have worked with so many outstanding and professional officers during my career,” Booker said. “They are some of the most dedicated and salt of the earth people that I have ever met. I have also been fortunate to have worked with and for many Decatur employees over the past 30 years. I am so thankful and appreciative of the members of this community and the partnerships and friendships that we have developed over the years. They have definitely helped make our department what it is today.”

Here’s the full announcement from the city of Decatur:

The City of Decatur announces Police Chief Mike Booker will retire in April, 2021 after serving more than 30 years in the Police department and almost 15 years as Police Chief. Chief Booker joined the Decatur Police Department in 1990. Throughout his career he served as a patrol officer, field training officer, patrol supervisor, investigator, supervisor over the criminal investigations division, instructor, patrol division commander and Deputy Police Chief before being appointed Police Chief in June, 2006.

Under Chief Booker’s leadership, the department instituted changes to meet staffing challenges, earn State Accreditation and create a culture of community policing with emphasis on integrity, accountability and empathy. Chief Booker implemented multiple strategic planning initiatives to emphasize higher levels of training and expectations for employees, build community partnerships, enhance the culture of community policing in Decatur and the use of technology to serve the community.

While Chief Booker has served on many boards and initiatives, he said he was especially honored to have been selected to participate in the state Police-Community Trust Initiative through the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police in 2019.

Chief Booker is known for giving out his cell phone number and encouraging the community to call him directly not only if they saw officers under his command doing something questionable, but also if they observed officers doing something good.

Chief Booker considers the members of the Police department he has led for so long as its biggest asset, and he has spent time investing in and pushing them to grow into leaders no matter what role they serve.

“Under Chief Booker’s leadership, the Decatur Police department has grown to be one of the most highly regarded departments in Georgia, if not the southeast,” City Manager Andrea Arnold said. “While Chief Booker is going to be sorely missed, I know that his legacy of integrity, empathy and selfless public service remains embedded in the culture of the department.  He’s known for saying that our police officers are community relations officers that enforce the law. This simple statement reflects Chief Booker’s forward- thinking and progressive philosophy that reflects our community.”

According to Ms. Arnold, Deputy Chief Scott Richards will serve as the Acting Police Chief while the City conducts a recruitment process.

Chief Booker said, “It has been an honor and privilege to have worked with so many outstanding and professional officers during my career. They are some of the most dedicated and salt of the earth people that I have ever met. I have also been fortunate to have worked with and for many Decatur employees over the past 30 years. I am so thankful and appreciative of the members of this community and the partnerships and friendships that we have developed over the years. They have definitely helped make our department what it is today.”

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