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Following failed accreditation, Avondale begins search for a new police chief

Avondale Estates Crime and public safety Trending

Following failed accreditation, Avondale begins search for a new police chief

An Avondale Estates Police Car. Source: City of Avondale Estates, GA

Avondale Estates, GA — The city of Avondale Estates is beginning its search for a new police chief after a report about the police department’s failed accreditation process led to a shakeup in the department’s leadership.

The city identified receiving accreditation from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police as a top priority. City leaders want to make sure the police department is operating with the highest standards essential for operations of law enforcement agencies.

The police department initiated the certification process and the accreditation got underway amid calls from activists for an independent, third-party review of the police department, though city officials say they were working on this prior to the murdre of George Floyd in 2020. The accreditation process did not go well, however.

On Sept. 20, the city announced the department did not receive the accreditation. The scathing report produced as a result of the failed accreditation attempt led to the retirement of of Police Chief Lynn Thomas and resignation of the police department’s accreditation manager, Decaturish previously reported.

During the Oct. 13 Avondale Estates City Commission work session, City Manager Patrick Bryant provided an update regarding the police department and the city’s search for a new police chief. He is meeting with Assessment Team Leader Valerie Johnson today. Johnson said in the accreditation report that she would feel “irresponsible recommending certification for the [Avondale Estates Police Department], based on the number of compliance issues and the amount of work still needing to be done to bring the agency’s policies up to standard.”

“She is going to use her access to PowerDMS to walk me through the state of our compliance files and then give me a demonstration of what the compliance files should look like,” Bryant said.

Next Wednesday, Bryant will meet with the GACP director of the accreditation program and a lieutenant from the Dunwoody Police Department, who are going to provide recommendations on how the city can upgrade security of the property and evidence area. Bryant additionally began the process of selecting a new police chief by working with GACP to place the job announcement, conducting an assessment and recommending candidates.

“Our job descriptions and job announcement has been sent to the Georgia Chiefs. They’re going to take a look at it and make edits as they feel in order to best invite candidates to apply,” Bryant said. “We’re going to put that application out for a period of at least 30 days.”

After the city receives the applications, GACP will select the top eight candidates and put them through a full-day assessment. Following the assessment, the city will interview the top three candidates. The interview process will consist of an internal staff interview and community input.

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