Mike Register was promoted to Cobb County director of public safety Tuesday after nearly two years leading the police department, where he has prioritized community-police relations.
Register takes the helm at a time of tension between elected county officials and rank and file public safety employees who say they are experiencing a staffing and retention “crisis” caused by inadequate pay and benefits.
After commissioners voted 4-1 to approve his new job, Register pledged to “make not only public safety a better place to work, but also to improve the Cobb County public safety apparatus so we can better serve our community.”
“Since becoming chief of police, I have been committed to the community as I have been committed to the men and women who work at the Cobb County Police Department,” he said. “I think that we have done a great job in strengthening a partnership that is very much needed in today’s world.”
Commissioner Bob Ott, the sole dissenting vote, said his decision had nothing to do with Register personally. He said he was against filling the position at all, citing the cost.
Register’s new salary is $156,500 up from $138,000 as chief. Former Public Safety Director Sam Heaton made $156,404 upon his retirement earlier this year.
Other commissioners offered Register their support.
“You’ve done an excellent job of working with the community,” said South Cobb Commissioner Lisa Cupid, who has been critical of the police department in the past. “ You have been a leader for this organization.”
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