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Garden City PD talks current, future police chiefs

Published: Oct. 26, 2017 at 3:41 PM EDT|Updated: Oct. 27, 2017 at 6:02 PM EDT
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Major Gilbert Ballard (Source: Garden City)
Major Gilbert Ballard (Source: Garden City)

GARDEN CITY, GA (WTOC) - Garden City Chief of Police David Lyons has announced his retirement after over 15 years of serving and protecting the community.

Chief Lyons will bid farewell to his law enforcement career with the Garden City Police Department on Dec. 1, 2017. Under Chief Lyons' leadership, crime has fallen across the board in Garden City and the department has made great strides as an organization.

The city has announced that Major Gilbert Ballard, a 23-year veteran of the Garden City Police Department, will be taking over as Chief of Police.

"He took this agency to a level of professionalism which I'm very thankful for, and I have a great deal of respect for what he was able to accomplish," said future chief, Major Gilbert Ballard.

As you can imagine, Lyons says the farewell is bittersweet.

"It's time to pass the mantle to someone younger than yourself and let them have an opportunity to grow the department even further," Chief Lyons said.

Lyons says he has pushed the department in a great direction by helping to reduce crime, keeping the community safe, and overcoming obstacles by changing the tone of police.

"We had to work really hard to change that attitude towards us and to show the public that our attitude had changed that this was a new department," Lyons said.

He says his proudest accomplishment was having his officers vote that they loved their jobs.

"To be selected as one of the best places to work in Georgia for 2016 just puts it all in perspective," he said.

The department is nationally-accredited, which is something the new chief, Major Ballard, plans on keeping.

"We make sure our officers are well-trained, they have the equipment they need to go the job," Ballard said.

"Major Ballard is more than ready to take command of the department and will do things too, beyond what I was able to do," Lyons said.

The 23-year veteran of the Garden City Police Force is very familiar with the area, giving him a headstart on his new role.

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