Atlanta mayor eyes hiring new chief operations officer for police

050222 Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens speaks at the Rotary Club Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. Dickens delivered remarks as the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s May meeting. The topic of discussion is “What comes after the first 100 days.” (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

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050222 Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens speaks at the Rotary Club Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. Dickens delivered remarks as the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s May meeting. The topic of discussion is “What comes after the first 100 days.” (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Mayor Andre Dickens discussed some of his plans for Atlanta after his first 100 days in office

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens says the Atlanta Police Department needs a new executive with the knowhow to address the car shortage and other needs among the city’s sworn officers.

Speaking to members of the Rotary Club of Atlanta on Monday, Dickens said the city’s police officers complain about more than just money, and that the APD needs to employ someone solely focused on forecasting the state of the department’s operational needs.

That new person will be a Chief Operating Officer for the Atlanta Police Department.

“I’m adding a business element to the operations of the police force,” Dickens said. “We need to have a business model so we’re gonna put in place something similar to a Chief Operating Officer for the police department, and that would have a little office to it, that will manage these things.”

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Policing was one of several topics addressed during a fireside chat involving Dickens and Sharon Gay, the mayor’s transition team co-chair, a former Dentons Managing Partner, and a former mayoral candidate. The discussion touched on city services, procurement, ethics, federal funding, and education, to name a few of the topics.

Dickens said his administration is focusing on hiring 250 officers by year’s end. He also recently hired a new manager for the city’s nightlife division, which is designed to help bars and clubs with issues such as security plans, zoning and de-escalation training.

Combined ShapeCaption
050222 Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens speaks during the question and answer portion at the Rotary Club Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. Dickens delivered remarks as the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s May meeting. The topic of discussion is “What comes after the first 100 days.” (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

050222 Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens speaks during the question and answer portion at the Rotary Club Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. Dickens delivered remarks as the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s May meeting. The topic of discussion is “What comes after the first 100 days.” (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Combined ShapeCaption
050222 Atlanta: Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens speaks during the question and answer portion at the Rotary Club Monday, May 2, 2022, in Atlanta. Dickens delivered remarks as the guest speaker for the Rotary Club of Atlanta’s May meeting. The topic of discussion is “What comes after the first 100 days.” (Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com)

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Credit: Jason Getz / Jason.Getz@ajc.com

Dickens is also hiring a new police chief and four other department heads in Planning, Procurement, Human Resources and Parks.

The mayor said he believes the city will operate more efficiency if it fully funds the Inspector General’s Office and Ethics Division, and allows them to work independently without political interference.

“Everybody that has Atlanta in their name got a letter from me that set the tone that we’re going to operate this government with integrity,” Dickens said. “I’m gonna see an increase in people bidding on all these projects that we have because they’re gonna know that it’s fair.

“I believe that we’re going to be even more competitive...I believe our pricing is gonna go down. I believe our service delivery is gonna go up, because it’s just gonna be on merit.”

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Speaking of work, Dickens urged the business leaders in the room to help the city hire 3,000 teenagers this summer.

He also said the city is asking Atlanta Public Schools and the philanthropic community to match the city’s $5 million investment into early childhood education. The mayor said the city wants to provide more transportation to students to participate in after-school projects at recreational centers.

“The transition team said 2023 needs to be the year of the youth and I’m going to adopt that,” Dickens said. “The year of the youth is gonna happen in 2023.”