Crime, trust, investing in officers top priorities for Atlanta PD interim chief
Darin Schierbaum started his career with APD in 2002, working his way through the ranks from street cop.
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - As the City of Atlanta conducts a nationwide search for a permanent chief of police, the man leading the department in the interim pledges to be a visible leader.
Chief Darin Schierbaum sat down with CBS46 for a one-on-one interview on his first day as interim chief. He said his top three priorities include smart crime fighting, continuing to grow the public’s trust and investing in the men and women who make up the Atlanta Police Department.
“You’re going to see initiatives over the summer into the fall where we’re working to connect more smartly and in more meaningful ways,” Schierbaum said.
Schierbaum joined APD in 2002. He started as a street cop, working his way through the ranks over the past twenty years. He takes over, following the retirement of Chief Rodney Bryant, as recruitment is stagnant. The department is down some 400 officers.
“We know the diversity of our police department is a draw,” he said. “When we invest in the men and women we have now, they’re going to stay here.”
Schierbaum said his expectations of officers is that they are competent, committed, and compassionate. He added that trust must be at the core of the department.
“We can never rest on our laurels here,” he explained. “We have to show the citizens of this city that we have their best interest at heart.”
Crime is arguably the city’s most urgent issue. The latest crime data from APD shows homicides, rapes and aggravated assaults are all up year to date. Schierbaum said they’re arresting criminals but they need the court system to hold criminals accountable.
“What we are needing is our actions to be amplified in the courtroom and I think we’re seeing some indications that we are getting commitments from the courts,” he said.
Earlier this week, Chief Schierbaum and Mayor Andre Dickens announced the city’s summer crime-fighting plan, which includes making officers more visible and more activities and job opportunities for young people.
Schierbaum says he’s optimistic, adding that investments in technology, trust and smart policing will lead to a better police department and safer community.
“We are only effective if we have the confidence of the communities, and they trust as we are working on their behalf as their guardian,” he said.
Schierbaum is a resident of Midtown. When he’s not at work, he enjoys reading books, spending time on the BeltLine and exploring historically significant sites in and around the city.
Watch the full interview below:
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