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Atlanta Police interim chief gets the permanent job

Mayor Andre Dickens, left, announces Darin Schierbaum as the permanent chief of the Atlanta Police Department at an Oct. 31 press conference.

By John Ruch

Atlanta’s interim police chief now has the permanent job.

Darin Schierbaum was named the new Atlanta Police Department (APD) chief by Mayor Andre Dickens on Oct. 31.

Darin Schierbaum, the newly named interim chief of the Atlanta Police Department. (Photo by APD.)

Schierbaum was named interim chief in May, replacing Rodney Bryant. Dickens said at a press conference that Schierbaum was chosen for the permanent job after a national search.

“This is an important position so we had to get it right,” Dickens said. “We searched far and wide, and we spoke to some of the highest-caliber candidates in the nation… [W]e found the right candidate was already in the post.”

In what may have been an allusion to the Buckhead cityhood movement, which has been fueled by crime concerns, Dickens said: “He is the right leader for helping us to build one safe city with one bright future.”

Dickens said a public survey that drew more than 2,000 responses was part of his decision-making process. He said that the second most common response in an open-ended comment portion of the survey was to make Schierbaum the permanent chief.

Morale has been a concern for APD and the mayor, a point Schierbaum touched on at the press conference by stating his support to officers and civilian staff.

“I believe in you. I believe in what you do,” Schierbaum said. “I see the hard and difficult work you do every day, 24 hours a day, in all 245 neighborhoods of our city. And I am so proud of the work that you do.

“Know that as long as you are a department that is constitutional, committed, competent and compassionate, you will always have my support as chief of police,” he added.

Dickens fulfilled a promise he made in May to have a permanent chief in place by October “at the latest.”

Schierbaum is a 20-year APD veteran. He has been serving on the community advisory committee for the City’s planned public safety training center. According to his APD biography, Schierbaum is a Midtown resident who enjoys bookstores and “exploring historically significant sites in and around the city.”

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