APD Chief Persley tapped for “Excellence in Policing” committee

Effort targets best practices for law enforcement agencies across Georgia
Chief Persley
APD chief Michael Persley

ALBANY, GA – Albany Police Chief Michael Persley has been named to the Georgia Municipal Association’s “Excellence in Policing” committee, a 16 person roundtable of elected officials, public safety leaders and community organizers.

Over the next three months, the committee is tasked to develop an affordable, achievable, scalable, and measurable set of best practices and guidelines for public safety agencies to utilize as part of GMA’s Certified
Cities of Equity and Inclusion (E&I) program.

“The intent of this effort is to provide model policies, training modules, and best practices for law
enforcement agencies in Georgia,” said GMA Executive Director Larry Hanson. “Such
information is intended to support agencies in their efforts to implement professional policies
and practices in a manner that is cost effective, efficient and meets standards such as those
promulgated by state certification and international accreditation agencies in certain areas.”

During the committee’s kickoff meeting, co-chairs LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar and
College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom outlined the group’s focus areas of personnel, hiring
and disciplinary policies, mandatory training areas/modules, model use-of-force policies, the
role of technology in policing, communications and public relations, and criminal justice reform.

The committee will also uncover partnership opportunities with several state initiatives, including
the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) and the state’s technical college system.
“This is a very important initiative–not just for policing, but for Georgia,” said Chief Dekmar
during his first address to the committee members. “What I expect this committee to do is to
ensure that contemporary policing takes care of business, because there’s no shortage of folks
out there that will take care of business for us,” he said with citing the courts, plaintiff lawyers
and activist groups as examples.

Dekmar’s co-chair, Mayor Motley Broom, also shared an important reminder with the committee,
“We are here to build the community that we deserve,” she said. “And the community that we
deserve is one that has a robust, caring, compassionate, but effective police force.”
GMA’s Excellence in Policing Committee Members
Co-Chairs:
• LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar
• College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom
Members:
• Albany Police Chief Michael Persley
• Butch Ayers, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP), Executive Director
• Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar
• Norcross Mayor Craig Newton
• Athens-Clarke County Manager Blaine Williams
• Brunswick City Manager Regina McDuffie
• Milton City Manager Steven Krokoff
• City Attorney L’Erin Barnes Wiggins representing the cities of Hampton, Riverdale and
Lovejoy
• Hinesville City Attorney Linnie Darden
• Dublin City Attorney Josh Powell
• Kim Jones, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Georgia, Executive Director
• Chalton Askew, Trustbuilding Inc., Executive Director
• GMA General Counsel Rusi Patel
• GMA Property and Liability Claims Manager James Westbury

This committee will have in-person and virtual meetings and will work to develop the certificate
program by the end of September 2021. This broader certificate program is a part of the work of
GMA’s Equity & Inclusion Commission, which was created in June 2020 to recommend actions
to the association’s board of directors that promote equality, justice, fairness, and diversity;
identify and eliminate sources of overt and implied racism, prejudice, and bigotry; and equip city
leaders to listen thoughtfully and dialogue constructively with the citizens they serve. Learn
more about the commission.

About the Georgia Municipal Association: Based in Atlanta, GMA is a voluntary, non-profit
organization that provides legislative advocacy, educational, employee benefit and consulting
services to all of Georgia’s 537 cities. GMA anticipates and influences the forces shaping
Georgia’s cities and provides leadership, tools and services that assist municipal governments
in becoming more innovative, effective and responsive. Created in 1933, GMA is the only state
organization that represents municipal governments in Georgia. For more information, visit
www.gacities.com.