‘Trust is broken’: New APD chief wants to improve community relations

Now that Atlanta has a new police chief, Channel 2 wanted to find out what his plans are for keeping the city safe.

In a one-on-one interview, Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston sat down with Chief Darin Schierbaum to find out his plan.

The chief said, “We’re a department that believes in smart crime fighting.”

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Schierbaum has been an Atlanta police officer for 20 years. Now that he is the city’s top cop, he says one of his first priorities is to improve people’s trust in the department.

He said, “We understand that trust is broken and strained by acts that have been done by American law enforcement. First of all, we’re recruiting from those exact same neighborhoods.”

His officers protect everyone from Buckhead to Bridgewater Street in southwest Atlanta.

He says all 245 Atlanta neighborhoods deserve to be safe and to feel safe. He said, “We know our bad guys are mobile, our bad gals are mobile, this department is mobile. (If) people drive into the city to do street racing, we are going to put you in jail and seize your car.”


Department reports show all crimes are up 5% from last year, but the chief says 21st-century policing hopefully will change that. Integrated cameras allow officers to team up on suspects. He showed that he can also follow what’s happening on city streets and even watch police body camera video to see how officers talk with people.

He also says that law enforcement can do much more when they partner with others.

The chief said, “We work very closely with the sheriff of Fulton County, the Georgia state patrol, the ATF as well as the attorney general of Georgia. Those are the team members that are here weekly in this building, weekly on the street.”

Schierbaum is Atlanta’s 26th police chief.

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