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Riverdale assistant chief named

By Justin Boron

Riverdale Police Chief Thetus Knox will present one of her former subordinates in the Atlanta Police Department as her new assistant chief at Monday's City Council meeting.

The announcement will fill in the top position in Knox's reorganization of the police department, which also included the addition of a crime analyst, a training coordinator, and another commander.

Former Atlanta Police Department Maj. Samuel Patterson, 51, will come to Riverdale after 17 years in Atlanta, where he escalated through the ranks to commander of the department's zone in the southwest part of the city.

The McDonough resident said Knox asked him to come with her to Riverdale both when she applied and when she was selected to head the department in September.

Patterson is just one of the new hires coming from the Atlanta Police Department.

Knox said her new training specialist and crime analyst also come by way of the Atlanta police.

But she said the selection process was a well-publicized and open.

The assistant chief position was selected by a panel of local police chief's including Morrow Chief Charlie Sewell and DeKalb Chief L. Graham.

Sewell said he interviewed three candidates for the job and Patterson was "an excellent candidate because he had a wealth of knowledge and years of experience."

Patterson said he looks forward to joining Knox Monday and said he values her stance on community involvement in law enforcement.

"In an effort to maximize our eyes and ears . . . you have to include the community," he said.

Patterson also said it is important that the department understand the community's grievances because they often go overlooked amid larger crimes like theft and murder.

"Often, (it) is the little things that cause the community to say somebody needs to do something about it," he said.