Atlanta mayor wants to hire COO for police department to address shortages, morale issues

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is looking to hire a new executive who will be in charge of addressing the pressings needs of police.

Channel 2′s Michael Seiden sat down with Dickens to discuss exactly what the mayor is looking for.

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The mayor is talking about hiring a chief operating officer for the Atlanta police department, which has been dealing with staffing and car shortages.

Seiden stopped by the city garage on Tuesday where APD squad cars are broken down and out of service. Crews have been working on the cars but supply chain shortages and backup in production of new vehicles have created unexpected challenges for the city’s police force.

“These are things that we have to plan and forecast and deal with supply chain issues like a business would. So that’s what I want to bring to the table,” Dickens told Seiden.

Dickens says the shortage issues kills morale and impacts public safety. That is why he wants to hire a COO.

“I believe that we need a business mind. Someone that has the ability to be able to manage the operations of some of the elements of the police force, like all of our equipment, all of the cars,” Dickens said.


From purchasing new vehicles to providing additional training for officers, Dickens told Seiden that the COO will work with the police chief and his office to take care of day-to-day business and focus on officers’ needs.

“The officers can do just what the officers want to do in terms of going out there protecting and serving and not worrying about how they going to get their own care washed and how they are going to a manage,” Dickens said.

“I think you’re going to see a police force that’s better trained and well positioned to go out there and do the job they want to do.”

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Dickens said he hopes to fill the position by the end of the year. He believes a COO will help boost morale and bridge the gap between cops and the communities they serve.

“When officers feel like they’re being taken care of , the community also feels like they’re seeing the officers more and we have a community based policing going the right way.”

Dickens told Seiden that he hopes hiring a COO will also help him meet a goal of hiring 250 officers by the end of the year.