Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura has been named 2020 “Outstanding Chief of the Year” by an industry association.

The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police announced the honor in Savannah on July 21, according to the association.

Yandura has led the department since its establishment in 2013 and has 45 years of experience in law enforcement.

Brookhaven Police Chief Gary Yandura

“Chief Yandura is one of Brookhaven’s pioneering leaders,” Mayor John Ernst said in a press release. “Through his leadership, the Brookhaven Police Department has become a model for other jurisdictions to follow.”

Deputy Chief of Police Bandon Gurley nominated Yandura for the award. The “Outstanding Chief of the Year” award is one of two annual awards presented by the GACP, according to its website.

“I am humbled to be recognized in this manner and honored to work with the men and women of the Brookhaven Police Department who are so dedicated to the safety and well-being of Brookhaven,” Yandura said in the release.

Since Yandura has been police chief, Brookhaven has implemented a License Plate Reader camera system to identify suspects on the road and FARO, a crime scene mapping tool that helps investigators, according to the release.

Yandura has also overseen Brookhaven community engagement projects such as the Citizen’s Police Academy, which is offered in English and Spanish, the drug take-back program, the Shop with a Badge program and more, according to the release.

After Minneapolis police officers killed George Floyd, sparking nationwide police brutality protests, Yandura launched a five-day “Transparency Project” on social media that used graphics and text to explain BPD demographics and policies, such as use of force and body-worn cameras.

Yandura previously served as the chief of police in Hiram and College Park, according to the release. He has also served on the boards for the GACP, which gave him the award, as well as the International Chiefs of Police Association and a Georgia state Senate subcommittee on child exploitation.

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