ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Gary George, who has led the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety for 15 years, is stepping down.
The city made the announcement Thursday, Aug. 4 saying it will conduct a national search for a replacement by the end of January, when George officially retires.
“Under Gary’s leadership, we consolidated our police and fire departments, engaged our constituents, shortened our emergency response times, and achieved the highest and best fire service rating possible,” said Alpharetta Mayor David Belle Isle.
Under George’s administration, Alpharetta consolidated the city’s fire and police services to reduce administrative staff and put more officers and firefighters on the streets.
The fire service became one of only 136 agencies in the nation to hold an ISO rating of 1, the highest awarded. Its cardiac save rate posted a score 18 percent higher than the national average.
In 2015, the Department of Public Safety was named agency of the year by the Georgia Chapter of the FBI’s National Academy Associates.
This year, the department was the first in Georgia to implement “text to 911,” and its 911 center became one of only 167 such operations in the world to be accredited as a Center of Excellence by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch.
George entered law enforcement as an officer with the Independence, Mo., Police Department in 1970. Through the years, he worked his way up the ranks in the department and was named chief in 1997.
He holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice administration and a master’s degree in public affairs from Park University in Missouri.