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New Policing Era Dawns in Dunwoody

NCJ Number
Date Published
National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center
This article describes the building of a police department where there was none in Dunwoody, GA, after it was incorporated as a city in DeKalb County on December 1, 2008.
Billy Grogan was hired as police chief on December 17 of that year, with a mandate to have the police force operative by April 1, 2009. The first step was to hire senior staff and assign responsibilities for creating a department with 40-plus officers and additional support staff. One administrative staff member assumed responsibility for recruitment; another helped with background checks; and a third developed policies and procedures; two others procured equipment and set up training programs. All new officers were recruited from other departments, partly with the promise of good pay and benefits. The new officers were sworn in as a group on the evening of March 31, 2009, and set out in patrol cars at midnight. Descriptions of the efforts leading to this point address vehicle and other equipment purchases, funding, and the development of a community policing orientation. The challenges faced and overcome are reviewed. In an interview, Chief Grogan mentioned a number of lessons learned in building a police department from scratch. First, “surround yourself with good people, people that you know and can trust and rely on,” Grogan said. Second, select officers who have a high standard of integrity, the training required to operate at a high level, and a commitment to make the community safer.
Date Created: February 21, 2012