Harlem selects interim police chief

Harlem Police Department’s interim chief started work Tuesday.


The city hired Gary Jones, the chief of police in Sardis, Ga., to fill the position vacated last week by David Sward.

Jones was introduced to the staff Monday and began working Tuesday morning, city Manager Jason Rizner said.

Jones will work in Harlem part time until May 6 while he finishes his notice period in Sardis, where he’s served as police chief for two years.

Jones, who has 25 years of experience in law enforcement, got his start in the Harlem Police Department and worked in the Columbia and Richmond County sheriff’s offices. Jones also served a 90-day special assignment as director at the Augusta Youth Development Campus.

“We are confident that Gary’s knowledge, experience, and abilities will serve the Department and the City well,” Rizner wrote in an e-mail.

Former chief Sward tendered his resignation Thursday without explanation. He took over leadership of the department in January 2012 and oversaw the construction of and move to the new public safety building.

Rizner said Jones is interested in the position permanently, but city officials will not yet consider decisions about a formal application and interview process.


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