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Atlanta Mayor Shakes Up Police Department

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution via YellowBrix

January 08, 2010

ATLANTA, GA – In his first full day on the job, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled a reorganization of the police department’s command staff and announced other plans, including one to hire an economic development czar.

Acting Police Chief George Turner promoted several longtime leaders to new positions to boost morale among officers.

The moves included promoting Peter Andresen from deputy of field operations to assistant chief, Ernest Finley from Zone 3 Commander to deputy of field operations, Calvin Moss from the special operation center to deputy chief of criminal investigations and Shawn Jones from the airport to deputy chief of the support services division.

“We think it rewards folks who’ve done the job well,” Turner told reporters.

Some who held those positions left the department with former Chief Richard Pennington. Other changes were described as lateral moves.

Lt. Scott Kreher, head of the city’s largest police union, said the changes are well-received because the new hierarchy is composed of experienced officers who will “get back to crime fighting.” He said the most significant change may be Finley, whom he described as a “hard-charging” officer who could put in place several initiatives to combat the rise in property crimes.

Kreher said the moves may determine whether Turner gets the chief job permanently. Reed is conducting a search for chief and wants to hire someone within 120 days.

Turner said department officials were meeting Tuesday to discuss some crime-fighting objectives. The department is going to work with the Fulton County District Attorney’s office on a burglary task force, he said. The 50 officers hired through a federal grant will be used for community policing, Turner said.

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