DeKalb County’s Police Chief Retires

DeKalb County is looking for a new police chief.

DeKalb County Police Chief William O’Brien will retire at the end of November,Burke Brennan, the county’s chief communications officer, confirmed Oct. 31.

O’Brien made the announcement in August, Brennan said. Currently, O’Brien is out of the office using accrued vacation until his retirement’s effective date of Nov. 30.

“Police Chief William O’Brien has faithfully protected and served the people of DeKalb County throughout his distinguished career, starting in the uniform division of the south precinct and working his way up through the ranks,” said DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis. “Chief O’Brien demonstrated leadership and strengthened order and respect to the department.  I thank him for his dedicated service and wish him success in all of his future endeavors.”

O’Brien, who was named the chief of the DeKalb County Police Department in 2010, is a 27-year veteran with the department. In January 1985, he started working in the uniform division of the south precinct. After six years as a patrol officer, he moved to the detective division where he investigated robberies and homicides.

Later, O’Brien became a bike patrol with the community-oriented police team. He spent the next 10 years working in the internal affairs division, where he was promoted to sergeant, lieutenant, and then captain. He has also worked as a precinct captain, chief of staff and a major in the interactive community policing unit.

O’Brien was named interim police chief in 2009 when then chief Terrell Bolton was fired for insubordination, misuse of county property, and acts unbecoming an officer.

Brennan said a search for another police chief “has been under way for a while” and county officials expect to name an interim chief soon.

Currently, the various deputy chiefs are running their divisions as usual and reporting toWilliam Miller, the county’s public safety director.

“It’s business as usual at the police department,” Brennan said.

O’Brien has had “an exemplary career,” Brennan said. “He has faithfully served the citizens of DeKalb County and he has earned his retirement.

“We wish him the very best,” Brennan said.

The county is looking “inside and outside the county” for O’Brien’s replacement, Brennan said.

The job is posted on the county’s website with a minimum requirement of a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, police science, criminology, public administration or a related field; and 15 years of relevant law enforcement experience, including five years of managerial experience in a comparable jurisdiction or agency.

The position has a salary range of $98,880-$162,612.

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