Harlem public safety chief resigns

The city of Harlem and Public Safety Chief Jesse Bowman parted ways Monday, just more than two years after he was hired.

“We just decided it was best for him to move on and for the city to do the same,” said City Manager Jason Rizner. “We certainly appreciate his service for the city, and we’ll start a search for a new public safety director.”

Rizner said Bowman’s departure Monday “was by mutual agreement,” with “no one issue” precipitating his resignation.

Bowman, 62, said Monday evening that issues over funding and differences in management style prompted his resignation.

“The city council, the city administrator and myself, we didn’t see eye to eye,” he said.

The former chief said Harlem is his “heart” and hopes the city continues to thrive.

“I think the department is headed in the right direction going forward, but there were some issues … with upcoming things and budget stuff,” Bowman said. “Basically, (his leaving is) the best thing to do for Harlem.”

Bowman, sworn into office March 23, 2009, took over the Harlem Department of Public Safety after serving 25 years in the special operations division of Wackenhut. He also was a former Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue volunteer firefighter, head of the Thomson Community Policing Program, course director for the Georgia Police Academy’s Community Policing Program, and helped establish the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Reserve unit in the early 1990s.

Though unsure what his next move will be, Bowman did say he intends to seek another job in law enforcement.

City officials hope to bring in an interim chief from outside the department, perhaps as early as Tuesday. Until then, Assistant Chief Jim March is in charge of the department, Rizner said.

 

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