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2024 | SUMMER


2024 | SUMMER

Presidents Message

Mark Scott

GACP President

Chief, Americus Police Department

Where has the time gone?  My predecessors all said their time on the Executive Board went quickly, but wow!  I would like to say “Thank You” to all the Board members, past and present, with whom I have served these past five years and to our membership for allowing me to serve.  I am looking forward to one more year of board service as the Immediate Past President and then a return to the less hectic role of GACP member.


As I reflect, I am awed by all that the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police has accomplished in a very short time.  When I was elected to the Executive Board in 2019, our first major challenge was to begin the search for a new Executive Director.  We interviewed some top-notch candidates, and I think time has shown that we made a great choice in hiring Director Butch Ayers.  Not long after Butch came on board, we went through another hiring process to find a new general counsel for the Association.  Again, I think time has shown that Dick Carothers was the right choice.


Our next big challenge as a Board was to take a hard look at the Association’s finances and see if there was any way to better leverage our investments to provide income for our operations.  At the time, most of our cash assets were invested in low yield (but very safe) accounts and CDs.  After much lively discussion, the Board decided to hire an investment firm to give us advice on how to better manage our assets for higher yield while still protecting the Association’s money.  I am happy to report that the Association is financially sound and that we saw a gain on our investments in 2023 of over $500,000 and a gain of almost $200,000 as of May 31 of this year.  As we considered our finances, we also took a look at the GACP Foundation and discussed ways to make the Foundation work for the Association as a vehicle for corporate donations.  More to come on that effort in coming months.


Rather than discuss all our recent accomplishments in depth, here is a summary of the highlights:


  • We implemented a description of responsibilities for each Board Position so that those contemplating running for the Board will know what is involved and Board members progressing through the chairs will know their responsibilities as they near their presidency.
  • We hired a lobbying firm to represent our interests at the State Capitol and began to increase our visibility at the capitol. We are beginning to see the results as GACP is having a direct impact on legislation.  Senate Bill 421 creating the offense of “Drive-By Shooting” is a good example of our efforts.
  • Over the past year we have increased the duties of 1st Vice President to prepare them to be more effective during their year as president.
  • We updated the Association Bylaws
  • We changed the way the Chairman of the District Representatives is elected to make it more competitive and set term limits for the position.
  • We renewed the Association’s emphasis on the importance of State Certification and increased the number of certified agencies and the number of agencies starting the process.
  • We established an Ad Hoc Committee on Child Lethality and will be publishing a white paper and statewide training curriculum this year.
  • We also established Ad-Hoc Committees for Risk Management and Evidence Room Operations.
  • We are working with POST and GPSTC to develop the new basic mandate program.


Lastly, but I think most importantly, we changed our business model as a board of directors from an annual planning model to a five-year strategic planning model.  Our intent is to give GACP staff a long range and continuous plan of operations, rather than an annual set of short-term goals.  Although incoming presidents will certainly have short term projects they hope to accomplish, the guiding vision for the Association will be based on long-term planning based on continual needs assessments prepared by both board members and staff.


In closing, I would like to say thank you once again to each member of the Association.  GACP is widely respected and acknowledged as one of the most professional and most active chief’s associations in the country.  That is due to the active participation of every one of our members and to the tireless efforts of our awesome staff members.  Thank you for five great years of support and I am looking forward to continuing to serve the finest association in the country.