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Morrow’s police chief opening drawing strong interest

Interim Chief Greg Tatroe is an applicant

More than a dozen people had applied for the City of Morrow’s chief of police position within the first week of the application period, Morrow’s city manager recently revealed.

Jeff Eady said advertisements for the position have generated a lot of interest, both locally and across the state. He recently told members of the Morrow City Council that he received six applications from candidates for the job on the first day of the application period.

The city, which only began accepting applications on Dec. 5, has, so far, received approximately 18 applications — many of which came in the first week, Eady said on Thursday. He added that he expects many more will come in before the application period closes next month.

“I expect a lot more will come in after the holidays,” he said. “With the holidays coming up, I think it threw a lot of people off schedule, but I expect things will pick back up once the holidays are behind us.”

The city is expected to move quickly to name a replacement for former Police Chief Jeff Baker, who resigned earlier this month, after a city investigation into his recent DUI arrest. The city is slated to continue accepting applications for the position through Jan. 15.

Eady previously said he expects to quickly have a candidate to bring to the Morrow City Council, for approval, possibly before the end of January, or sometime in February.

The city manager said he has only received one application from a current employee of the Morrow Police Department, although he did not identify that applicant during his report to the city council. Interim Morrow Police Chief Greg Tatroe confirmed, afterward, that he is an applicant, however.

“We’ve also gotten some from outside the area, from local jurisdictions [such as] the Carrollton area,” Eady said.

Tatroe said he decided to apply for the permanent police chief position because he felt it was both “the right thing to do,” and his “duty.” He said he is a 14-year veteran of the police department, and has worked his way up through its ranks.

“I’ve gone from being an officer, to sergeant, to lieutenant, to captain, and now, hopefully, to being the [permanent] chief,” Tatroe said. He also pledged that, if he got the permanent position, the city would have a “fiscally responsible police department, and a police department that the citizens could call any time.”

Eady said he has already enlisted former Morrow Police chiefs Lou Deckmar and Kenny Smith to sit on a three-member panel that will review applications, and recommend finalists to the city manager. Deckmar, who led the police department in the 1980s, is currently the police chief for the City of LaGrange, and Smith, who led the department in the 1990s, and early 2000’s, is currently the city manager for Griffin.

Both men are also past presidents of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, according to Eady. He added that they will choose the third person who will sit with them on the review panel.

“They are very familiar with the city, and the police department, and I feel they will be a great fit for what the city needs them to do,” Eady said.