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Conyers police chief resigns
David Cathcart

Excerpt from CPD Chief David Cathcart's letter of resignation:

"I am submitting my letter of resignation, effective Friday February 12, 2010.  I do so without any regrets.  There are times when philosophies change and organizations choose to go in a different direction.  At that point, decisions have to be made that will benefit all involved.  I would like to thank the dedicated and motivated employees of the City of Conyers police department that supported me in the position as Chief.  I wish the city organization good luck moving into the future as you face the challenges that society will continue to bring.  With the senior staff that is in place, there is no doubt that the city will continue to prosper and stand out amongst the best in local government.  Thank you again and good luck to all."


Conyers names new public safety director:

Conyers Police Department Chief David Cathcart submitted a letter of resignation to Conyers City Manager Tony Lucas on Sunday night.

The letter, effective Friday, Feb. 12, cited philosophical changes.

"There are times when philosophies change and organizations choose to go in a different direction. At that point, decisions have to be made that will benefit all involved," said Cathcart in his letter.

He went on to thank the employees of the CPD that had supported him as chief and wished the city luck.

The city announced last Friday that the CPD would withdraw from the State of Georgia Law Enforcement Certification process, a voluntary professional certification, after realizing they would not pass. The department reportedly could have called for a mock assessment before the actual assessment but did not choose to do so.

Lucas said he and Cathcart had met on Friday and had discussed the state certification issue. "He came in and he discussed his decision with me," said Lucas. "He asked if he could take the weekend to think about it and I told him certainly."

Cathcart began his law enforcement career with the CPD in January 1987 as a police officer. During his 23-year career with the CPD, Cathcart served in and commanded every division of the department. He served as assistant chief when Lucas headed the CPD and was appointed chief in August 2005. Cathcart reportedly received a salary of $77,250 as of Friday.

Public Safety Director Gene Wilson, who was recently hired and began in his role at the end of January overseeing the police department, 9-1-1 communications, municipal court and probation services and Conyers Security Alert, will assume the duties of the chief of police for now.

Lucas said the process of finding a replacement had not been decided.

"We appreciate David's service to the police department and this community over the years and wish him much success in future endeavors," said Lucas, in a released statement. "The city is fortunate to have someone with Gene Wilson's experience to seamlessly transition and lead the police department into this next decade."

Mayor Randy Mills praised Cathcart's performance, describing recently presented statistics that showed crime down in several key areas.

"David's an outstanding police chief," said Mills. "He is a man of the utmost integrity. He's done an outstanding job and we wish him the best as he moves on to other areas."

Mills said that Wilson had been hired because the demands of public safety director had grown too much for Lucas to handle, along with being the city manager.

"We didn't bring (Wilson) in to anticipate this move," said Mills, referring to the resignation.

Lucas said he had started talking last fall about hiring someone with urban policing experience.

"I said I want to get somebody in here that has dealt with it and dealt with it successfully... It did put another layer in our organizational structure. I felt we were moving in the right direction."

When asked if Cathcart's resignation took him by surprise, Lucas sighed and paused.

"Having been in this business for so many years, I like to say nothing takes me by surprise, but to a degree, yes it did," he said.

Calls to Cathcart were unreturned.

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