2019-03-13 / Front Page

WPD Chief Palmer retires

ROY F. CHALKER JR.


Maj. Tommy Henderson, left, presented retiring Chief Augustus Palmer III with a plaque expressing the appreciation of the members of the Waynesboro Police Department for the chief’s six years of service here. The chief was also feted with a surprise reception by members of the department as well as a “farewell cake.” Maj. Tommy Henderson, left, presented retiring Chief Augustus Palmer III with a plaque expressing the appreciation of the members of the Waynesboro Police Department for the chief’s six years of service here. The chief was also feted with a surprise reception by members of the department as well as a “farewell cake.” The City of Waynesboro is looking for a new police chief. Chief Augustus Palmer III, who has led the department since May of 2013, retired effective March 8.

The retirement caps a career of 33 years in law enforcement. Prior to taking the chief’s position here, Palmer had been with the Riverdale Police Department where he oversaw five units as commander of officer professional standards. Before that he spent 20 years with the Atlanta Police Department.

Palmer, who holds a master’s degree in public administration, issued the following statement Tuesday:

“As I begin to enjoy my retirement I say to those who have supported me as well as those who did not Thank You!”

He added:

“During my tenure in Waynesboro, I believe we accomplished a number of significant goals. I served as the department’s Certification Manager, leading the department to its first State of Georgia Law Enforcement Certification recertification award in April of 2016. The department is scheduled for its second recertification assessment in a couple months. We implemented an integrated a computer system which combined records management, court services, property and evidence and electronic ticket writing into one system.

“We reduced the number of complaints against officers filed by people in the community, encouraged and supported several officers to return to school to further their education by receiving degrees. When I arrived, only one person in the department had a degree and now several have degrees ranging from associate’s to master’s degrees. Just this year I purchased new police body-worn cameras, equipped with GPS technology to locate officers in the event they leave their vehicle giving chase. We acquired new service weapons (Glock Model 17, 9mm) to replace the current Glock Model 21, 45 cal. which some officers continued to struggle with when qualifying each year.

“I revised the Uniform Dress Code policy al- lowing for an alternate duty uniform for those officers working in the Patrol Division. In this year’s annual In-serve training schedule I included long gun qualifying, which will allow officers that qualified on the firing range to carry a long gun on patrol.

“Finally, in January of this year, I developed and presented a Recruitment and Retention Plan to compete in this crowded hiring market for qualified Police Officers.”

Waynesboro City Manager Jerry Coalson stated, “The City of Waynesboro thanks Chief Palmer for his years of service and wishes him success in his future.” He added that Maj. Tommy Henderson, the Operations Major, will be leading the department until a new chief is hired.

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