City Government

Published on September 4th, 2018 |

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Mayor names Turner interim public safety commissioner

As part of a reorganization of city of Atlanta government, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has announced the creation of the position of Atlanta Public Safety Commissioner and named former Atlanta Police Chief George Turner to the interim post.

Former Atlanta Police Chief George Turner has been named interim Atlanta Public Safety Commissioner, a new city position.

Bottoms said having a public safety commissioner allows the city’s public safety department chiefs to focus more effectively on critical day-to-day operations.

“Atlanta is preparing for several major events in the coming months, including the Super Bowl,” said Bottoms. “The new public safety commissioner will be able to coordinate the departments in a unified manner.”

Turner, who spent seven years leading the Atlanta Police Department and a total of 36 years on the force, will oversee the APD; the Atlanta City Department of Corrections; the Office of Emergency Preparedness; and the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department.

“Chief Turner’s impeccable record of leadership and service to the city he grew up in makes him uniquely qualified for this extremely important job,” said Bottoms.

Turner will serve as Executive on Loan from the Atlanta Hawks, where he is currently vice president of safety, security, and parking. The Hawks will cover his salary for at least one year.

“I am extremely grateful to the Hawks’ owner, Tony Ressler and Hawks CEO, Steve Koonin for allowing me the opportunity to serve the city of Atlanta once again,” said Turner. “It shows their unwavering commitment to being good neighbors and active business partners in our city.”

Turner said his priority will be to address the recent spike in property crime, much of which, he said, is driven by young people.

“We will get to work right away to determine the causes behind this increase in crime and then reach out to our counterparts in the juvenile justice system to create an effective strategy to reduce those numbers,” said Turner. “Our goal is to make Atlanta one of the safest cities in America.”

Maintaining the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department’s Class 1 Insurance Service Office Rating will also be a top priority for Turner. AFRD responded to more than 100,000 calls for service last year. In addition, as the number of inmates continues to shrink, the fate of the Atlanta City Jail will demand a deeper analysis by the public safety commissioner.

Turner will also help the Office of Emergency Preparedness with its goal to be a national leader in the areas of preparedness and resiliency.

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