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Harlem police chief resigns

Posted: April 18, 2013 - 12:51pm  |  Updated: April 20, 2013 - 11:01pm
Former Harlem Police Department chief David Sward resigned Thursday.   Valerie Rowell
Valerie Rowell
Former Harlem Police Department chief David Sward resigned Thursday.

Harlem officials are looking for new police chief for the fourth time in as many years after Harlem Police Department Chief David Sward resigned Thursday.

City Manager Jason Rizner said Sward submitted his resignation letter at a weekly meeting Thursday morning without giving much reason for his resignation.

“He hadn’t given any indication previously that he was going to do that,” Rizner said. “It wasn’t a situation where any one thing that was indicated that precipitated (it). We just didn’t get into any reasons there.”

Sward could not immediately be reached for comment.

His resignation is effective immediately.

Assistant Chief Jim March will oversee department operations until an interim chief is named.

“We’re going to try to get somebody in place as soon as we can,” Rizner said.

Sward is the fourth leader of the department since 2009. Jerry Baldwin, under whom the police and fire departments merged in the Harlem Department of Public Safety, resigned the post in January 2009, after he was caught shoplifting.

Jesse Bowman replaced Baldwin in March 2009, but stepped down in September 2011. Interim director Benje Cowart led the department until Sward took over in January 2012.

“We’ll start looking for an interim director,” Rizner said. “We want to act as quickly as I can to get somebody in place there.”

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Comments (6)


I saw this coming!!!

When will the city council realize that you can't hire all these old used-up police chiefs? You need to hire a 35-45 year old intermediate level (Sergeant level or above) police officer. Yes, he needs to have an undergrad or above, but most importantly he needs to be from the CSRA, and a man of the community.

2 of the biggest complainants I have had about the police chief:

1. He and his officers are not involved in the community. If you a had a $1,000 dollar raffle, the average citizen could not even tell you who the last police chief was. They would probably say, "Jerry Baldwin"

2. David Sward is not approachable. When the citizens try to have a conversation with him, he usually blows them off.

To Bobby Culpepper, Jason Rizner, and the city council; you need to stop defying the will of the people, and pick a man who will be proactive, and highly social (Shaking hands, attending social events, church, etc).

You also need to pick someone who is not 65, and has 1 foot in the grave. With that in mind; I nominate Mike Alicea as the next chief of police for Harlem, GA.



Latest word on the street

Latest word on the street indicates that Chief Gary Jones from Sardis, GA is the new chief of police for Harlem, GA.

Let's hope that this is not true, and that Harlem didn't violate any labor laws by not first properly the position and giving due consideration to all applicants.