DCP Interim Chief named - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

DCP Interim Chief named

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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The Assistant Chief of Dougherty County Police Department will become the interim chief next month.

Assistant Chief Jackie Battle will take over for Chief Don Cheek who's taking medical retirement.

Some county commissioners hope she will permanently get the job.

Choosing the next Police chief is not something that will be decided overnight so commissioners are looking at all options before making their decision.

Friends and fellow officers came out to show support for Chief Don Cheek as county commissioners accepted his resignation, but they also were there to show support for Assistant Chief Jackie Battle who will temporarily take over his responsibilities.

"She is such a good person, she lives and breathes it, she is a professional police officer and that will lead this department well," said Chief Don Cheek, Dougherty Co. Police Department.

For the last nine years, Battle has worked alongside Chief Cheek and he says choosing her as interim chief was a no brainer.

"It makes me feel good he thinks so highly of me," said Asst. Chief Jackie Battle, Dougherty Co. Police Department

She started at DCP 32 years ago and worked her way up the ranks.

"I've been a patrol officer, I've been a detective, I've been in the drug unit, so I've really had a good career," said Battle.

County leaders will take their time to choose Cheek's permanent replacement.

"I've heard people say well why don't they decide today, well they are going to review everything," Cheek.

When Cheek was hired, commissioners used the International Association of Chiefs of Police in their recruitment process.

"It was law enforcement professionals doing a search for a law enforcement executive and that's the way it should be," said Cheek.

Before going forward with a search, Commissioner Jack Stone suggested commissioners wait and see how Battle does.

"We might have the best one here with us rather than having to spend several thousands of dollars searching for a chief," said Jack Stone, Dougherty Co. Commissioner

Stone also suggested commissioners reconsider the assistant chief position to save money.

"I think right now we can do without an assistant chief and save the Dougherty County Police Department 80 to 90 thousand dollars a year," said Stone.

Battle is confident she has what it takes to lead the department.

Next up the public safety committee will meet and decide what direction they want to go in appointing a new chief. They will then present their recommendations to the commission in the next few weeks.

Interim Chief Battle takes the helm November 10th.

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