Reed to name acting chief in ‘48 hours'

Mayor-elect Kasim Reed said Monday night that he would name an interim head of the Atlanta Police Department by Wednesday.

"No matter how good our police are, they have to be led," Reed said at the candle-light vigil for slain package store clerk Kavadar Montez McKibben.

"So we need to appoint an acting chief in the next 48 hours."

It has long been understood that embattled police chief Richard Pennington would step down when Mayor Shirley Franklin's term ended, and he announced officially in late November that he would resign effective Dec. 31.

The individual Reed names will lead the department while the incoming mayor and a  committee he is assembling conduct a national search for a permanent chief.

"But we're in the process of looking at candidates because we need a leader right now," Reed said.

Reed assembles his administrations despite news that the Secretary of State's office is investigating the possibility of disqualifying nearly 1,300 votes, or that election runner-up Mary Norwood might demand a recount since she lost by less than 1 percent of the vote.

"The fact of the matter is that I'm mayor-elect," Reed said, noting the short time before Franklin's tenure ends early next month. "It would be irresponsible of me to not move forward to keep the city safe."