Police officers, residents and DeKalb County officials celebrated the Tucker Police Precinct Dec. 16 with an awards luncheon, which was sponsored by the Stone Mountain and Tucker community improvement districts (CID).
Also present at the event was former DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander, who was recently promoted to public safety director.
“I really do want to thank the business and civic community because it’s your support of these men and women that really makes them feel valuable in terms of the work that they do,” Alexander said. “We’ll never be able to pay them enough or give them enough for what they have to go out and do and confront each and every day, and then go home in one piece and deal with what we all have to deal with in our own personal lives.”
Alexander’s recent promotion came after the newly-elected mayor of Rochester, N. Y., named Alexander, who previously served as the city’s police chief, as her top choice.
“My function is to make sure that we complete the business here that we started and that’s why I’m here today—that’s why I chose to stay here—to help us move forward and elevate ourselves as one of the premier police departments in the country,” Alexander said.
Officer T. L. Churchill was named the Tucker Police Precinct Officer of the Year. Churchill, who has been an officer at the precinct for five years, issued 135 citations and made 282 arrests—102 of those felonies—in 2013. Additionally, Churchill fielded 2,978 calls for service; 2,291 of those calls were self-initiated.
Officials said Churchill averaged 23.5 arrests per month. He was also named officer of the month on two separate occasions in 2013 and received a special commendation from the Stone Mountain CID for apprehending a burglary suspect while working a part-time job.
“If it weren’t for the officers I work with it wouldn’t have happened,” Churchill said of the award.
Acting DeKalb County Police Chief James Conroy shared his gratitude with the community for its support of the officers.
“This does mean a lot to them—Christmas, Thanksgiving, Hanukkah—they’re going to be spending it on the road while we’re with our families. This is their holiday celebration,” Conroy said.
Conroy also said there are several initiatives in the works for officers including a future pay raises, a take-home car program and a college incentive, all of which are included in the proposed county budget.
“Supporting the officers is what’s really important. I know we managed to get a 3 percent bonus last week—we haven’t gotten a raise in six years,” Conroy said.
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