November is one of my favorite months. I love the focus on expressing thanks for the blessings in our lives and the anticipation of Christmas, one of the most joyous holidays of the year. This time of year, the world seems full of hope, kindness and optimism for the future. Everything seems possible and is wrapped in expressions of gratitude and faith.
With gratitude and faith, I announce that Jesse Evans will be sworn in as the Acworth chief of police at 7 p.m. Dec. 1 in the
Acworth Community Center. I am so grateful for the leadership Chief Evans will bring to our department, and I am completely at peace knowing the agency to which I have devoted my life will be in the best possible hands. Evans is an incredible person and an outstanding leader, and I am looking forward to working alongside him and our command staff to ensure a smooth transition.
Leading the Acworth Police Department (APD) has been an absolute honor. When I joined the department as an officer in 2003, I had no idea where the path would take me. I didn’t have any aspirations to lead it; I simply had a desire to serve the community where I had spent most of my life. As the chief, I have had one guiding principle, and I am grateful our staff has bought into it completely: Spend time, and do the right thing. Spending time with people is essential. We know every police interaction is important. We take the time to ensure each person with whom we have contact knows their concerns are taken seriously and that they can count on us to spend all the time needed to provide the best possible level of service and assistance. Doing the right thing is all about integrity. No matter the situation, we always will do what is right, legal, moral and proper.
During the past 20 years, our department has developed and grown. Our focus has moved from an enforcement-only strategy to a community policing strategy that enables our officers to engage with the community in ways the APD of old never could have imagined. Covering the Bases was one of our first major projects. The community and the department partnered to raise funds to build a wheelchair-accessible baseball field to give special-needs athletes a place to participate in sports. As a result, the Covering the Bases fundraiser to support the Horizon Field and Horizon League was born, and over the past 10 years, we have been able to raise more than $500,000.
And because our officers and staff have embraced the community policing initiative fully, we also have had the opportunity to participate in several outstanding programs, such as the Citizens Police Academy, the young adult advisory board, Minister’s Day Training, Shoot for the Horizon, Safe-O-Ween, the Christmas Shoppe, the Miracle Tree and the Police Ambassador Camp, just to name a few. This year, we established our nonprofit organization, the Acworth Police Community Foundation, as a way to help fund and expand our outreach.
I could not be more proud of our police department and everything we have accomplished together over the past two decades. The No. 1 key to our success has been our people. We have state-of-the-art equipment, a beautiful headquarters and exceptional technology to meet the needs of 21st century policing, but all of it would be worthless without the talented men and women who work diligently every day to serve this community. I am so grateful we’ve been able to recruit and retain the best and brightest in our field, and they are the reason our agency is, I think, the best in Georgia. I can’t wait to watch our department continue to grow under the new leadership of Chief Evans.
Acworth is a unique and special place, and I’d like to thank the entire community for entrusting me with this phenomenal police department and giving me the opportunity to serve as your chief of police.
– Wayne Dennard has served as chief since 2012 and has lived in this community for more than 40 years.
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