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Kennesaw State hires new police chief

Kennesaw State University has decided its acting police chief has performed well enough in the job to give him the job.

The university announced Wednesday that Edward Stephens will be its chief. He’s been acting chief since August after Roger Stearns resigned after an internal review surrounding unspecified leadership concerns, KSU officials said at the time. An internal report last year found the turnover rate in KSU’s police department has been as high as 25 percent since 2014, with 23 terminations in 2015.

The university said it would conduct a national search to find a replacement, but interim President Ken Harmon decided the best candidate was already on campus. 

“Chief Stephens has a great rapport with KSU faculty, staff and students and has built strong partnerships on campus as well as with local police departments in Cobb County, Marietta and Kennesaw,” Harmon said in a statement. “His career reflects a deep commitment to proactive leadership and community-oriented policing.”

Stephens will be in charge of more than 100 employees, including sworn officers, security officers and administrative personnel.

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Stephens has deep roots at KSU. He’s been working in the university’s police department since 1992, received his bachelor’s degree there in 1994 and is an adjunct instructor at KSU’s Department of First-Year and Transition Studies.

The hire is the second major personnel announcement in as many days at KSU, which has campuses in Kennesaw and Marietta. On Tuesday, the Georgia Board of Regents announced University of Georgia provost Pamela Whitten is the sole candidate to become the university’s next president.

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