2024 | Winter


WINTER | 2024


A.A. Butch Ayers

GACP Executive Director

Happy New Year!  We are looking forward to the opportunities to continue improving GACP and our contributions to our members, our communities, and the profession.

I wanted to review what we accomplished in 2023:

We had several changes to the office staff in 2023.  Monica Duran was promoted to training and events director. Sewa Fields was hired in May to be the new training coordinator. We now have three (3) full-time employees dedicated to the training function for GACP. Angelina Servin was hired in July to serve as our member relations associate. Mike Wilkie was hired in November to be the new special projects coordinator and is responsible for all promotional processes, grant administration, and research projects. Finally, Ed Densmore was hired in December to serve as the new state certification coordinator.

We also welcomed two new members to the Executive Board in July 2023.  Gwinnett County Schools Police Chief Tony Lockard was elected by the membership to be the Fourth Vice President, and Albany Police Chief Mike Persley was elected by the district representatives to be the Chairman of the District Representatives.

Ten (10) retired chiefs were awarded Life Membership in 2023. They are Robert Bryson, Stacey Cotton, Lou Dekmar, Wayne Dennard, Preston Dorsey, Rod Ellis, Thomas Garrison, Bruce Hedley, Dwight Kelley, and Jesse Patton.

In June 2023, GACP hired a governmental affairs / lobbyist firm, Freeman, Mathis and Gary LLC to assist with our legislative efforts. Lobbyists Earl Ehrhart, Trey Paris and Chuck Clay have already held meetings with various legislators concerning GACP’s legislative priorities.

Under the guidance of Angelina Servin, GACP has significantly increased our presence and activity on various social media platforms.  We are also working to develop short videos / public service announcements about our noble profession.

GACP conducted four (4) sessions of the Chief Executive Training Course, known as “Chiefs’ School”, in 2023. Sixty-six chiefs and 55 command staff members completed CETC, each receiving 60 hours of training. Attendance at both the 2023 Winter and Summer Training Conferences established new records for registered attendees. A total of 1,151 members and 280 exhibitors attended the Winter and Summer Training Conferences.

The 2024 Winter Training Conference will be held in Columbus on January 17th – 19th, and the 2024 Summer Training Conference will be held in Savannah on July 21st – 24th.  This will be the last year with the winter / summer conference schedule. Beginning in 2025, we will move to a spring / fall schedule. The 2025 Spring Conference will be held in Gwinnett County and the 2025 Fall Conference will be in Savannah.

In 2023, GACP conducted six (6) selection processes for the position of police chief / assistant chief, as well as assisted seven (7) agencies with their promotion processes for lower positions.

For several years, GACP has been administering a GOHS technology grant, which provided assistance to agencies to obtain technology (in-car laptops, etc).  During the year, 25 agencies were awarded $568,875 to purchase the technology. In October 2023, the new GOHS grant amount is $672,000. This is a 75% increase over the previous year. Agencies interested in obtaining funding through this grant should contact Mike Wilkie.

The 2022 Annual Agency Data Collection Report was submitted by 249 agencies during the first quarter 2023, leading to a comprehensive report sorted by agency district, size, and type. Information about completing the 2023 AADCR will be going out to agencies in January. While completion of the report is mandatory for state-certified agencies, I encourage all agencies to participate this year.

The Certification Program is going strong, with 139 agencies having obtained or maintained their certification status. In 2023, there have been more than 52 different separate agency on-sites for certification or recertification, and at least seven (7) new agencies have signed contracts and entered the program. In addition, 167 students attended a total of eight (8) certification assessor / manager / refresher courses.

GACP was just awarded a $300,000 COPS grant to assist with the delivery of state certification education and technical assistance throughout the state. Beginning in 2024, GACP will begin providing certification training throughout the state. Our goal is to assist agencies in understanding the value and importance of state certification as well as providing hands-on training for assessors and team leaders.

At the end of 2023, our membership included 1,368 individuals and 161 corporations. When compared to 2019, this is an increase of 23 percent and eight (8) percent, respectively.

We were able to accomplish all of this in 2023 through the dedication and professionalism of our staff and the Executive Board. I want to personally thank each one of them for their dedication and commitment to GACP.

And finally, thank you to all our members. At the recent IACP Conference in San Diego, GACP was seen as a leading association among state associations of chiefs of police. Your support and interest are what makes GACP successful.