Statesboro Mayor Jonathan McCollar was recently appointed to the Georgia Municipal Association’s (GMA) Excellence in Policing committee. The committee is comprised of elected officials, city staff, public safety and mental health leaders, and community organizers. Over the next three months, this committee will 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.
“I am honored to be one of three mayors in the state selected to participate in GMA’s Excellence in Policing initiative,” said Mayor Jonathan McCollar. “The work we are doing will hopefully build a more equitable, just, and inclusive environment for all Georgians while also changing the narrative of modern policing. I look forward to working with this great team of professionals and am excited to see the results of this work take hold.”
On June 9, the Georgia Municipal Association (GMA) hosted the kickoff meeting for its Excellence in Policing committee. During the committee’s first 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.
“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.”
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.
GMA’s Excellence in Policing Committee Members
- LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar
- College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom
- 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, 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