Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis swore in Gary Yandura Tuesday as the city’s first police chief.
Yandura, a 38-year veteran law enforcement officer, will be tasked with building Brookhaven’s new police department.
“Today is a historic day because it is the start of Brookhaven becoming a safer community,” Davis said. “Chief Yandura’s record of reducing crime, building community partnerships and leading with integrity is exactly what Brookhaven needs for us to meet this goal.”
Yandura previously served as chief of police in Hiram and College Park. During his tenure in College Park, he managed 160 officers and a $12 million annual budget. He is credited with reducing crime by 30 percent during his first four years as College Park’s chief.
Yandura started his law enforcement career in Lake Forest, Ill., where he spent 24 years.
Yandura is a graduate of the FBI Academy and certified by the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He has a master’s in public administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois.
City Manager Marie L. Garrett selected Yandura after reviewing 98 applications from around the nation and interviewing 10 finalists.
“I am honored to help build a new police department that Brookhaven residents and businesses can be proud of,” Yandura said. “My first task will be to assess the community’s needs and determine the number of officers needed to protect and serve the city. I will work closely with city staff to hire the best officers to patrol Brookhaven.”
In addition to staffing, the new chief will be tasked with establishing an organizational structure, developing policies and procedures, helping set up a police station, creating an annual budget and managing daily operations.
Brookhaven currently has an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County to provide police services. The goal is to have Brookhaven officers on the road by the end of the summer.