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Louis M. Dekmar

Louis M. Dekmar has 37 years of civilian police experience, with 23 years as police chief or chief of public safety.  Presently, he serves as Chief of Police and Chief of Public Safety for the City of LaGrange, Georgia.  He is responsible for supervision, personnel and management of the LaGrange Police and Fire Departments.  In the police department, Chief Dekmar instituted significant personnel, operational, and service-related initiatives, improving training and educational curriculum, and developing and expanding community and problem-solving policing programs, reducing liability and crime rates and increasing customer satisfaction.  The police department was accredited by CALEA in 1999 and re-accredited in 2002, 2005, 2008, and 2011; State Certified in 1998, 2002, 2008, and 2011.  The Fire Department (Class 2) operates four stations and provides a variety of fire and EMS services.  The Departments of Public Safety employ over 180 full-time and part-time employees.  The police department provides contract police services for LaGrange Downtown Development Authority and LaGrange Public Housing Authority. 

He holds a Masters of Public Administration, Georgia College and State University, and a Bachelor of Science, University of Wyoming.  He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and a graduate of the FBI Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar (LEEDS).  Chief Dekmar is a member of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, International Association of Chiefs of Police (past co-chair of the Police Image and Ethics committee and current member of the Private Sector Liaison committee); he is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; and the FBI National Academy Associates.  In 2004, he was selected as the delegation leader for the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) that traveled to Israel for a two-week training exchange with the Israel National Police, and is currently a Board Member for GILEE.

He is a national presenter for police leaders and elected officials on a range of topics involving leadership, ethics, law enforcement management and liability issues and has provided over 300 training programs to police chiefs, elected officials, and other law enforcement personnel in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Mexico; he is a Georgia POST certified instructor.  For over 28 years, Chief Dekmar has served as an adjunct professor for Eastern Wyoming College, Georgia College and State University, LaGrange College, and Columbus State University, teaching organizational management, human resources, criminal justice, and ethics courses.  

Louis Dekmar currently serves as a Commissioner and as Chair/President for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  He is a former Governor-appointed member of the Georgia Board of Public Safety, which provides policy oversight for the Georgia State Patrol, Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. 

Chief Dekmar is a former member of the Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council (POST), serving on the Probable Cause Committee.  He is also Past-President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, representing over 550 police chiefs in a variety of forums.  In 2006, he chaired a "vehicle pursuit" committee for the Georgia Chief's Association, which published a white paper.  The pursuit research was accepted by the United States Supreme Court in a Brief of Amicus Curiae (Scott v Harris 2007).

He was appointed and served as a Civil Rights Monitor for the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (DOJ); he monitored a police agency for three years to ensure compliance with tasks detailed in a Memorandum of Understanding between the agency and DOJ.  In that capacity, Chief Dekmar assisted the agency in developing policies, protocols, and procedures to ensure sufficient managerial safeguards addressing officer misconduct issues, particularly those involving bias-based profiling.  In addition, he conducts police management audits, assessments, and use of force reviews and inquiries for law enforcement agencies, recommending modifications in policy, processes, and training to increase efficiencies and reduce agency liability.  He also assists municipalities in police chief searches, advising and participating in the selection process.

In 2009, he received the Georgia Governor’s Award for Life-Time Achievement and Contribution to the Law Enforcement Profession; 2004, LaGrange College Servant Leadership Award; 1997, Georgia Police Chief of the Year; 1988, Officer of the Year; and 1978, Medal of Valor for Bravery displayed in the Line of Duty.

Chief Dekmar has appeared or been retained as an expert witness in legal controversies involving police management related to use of force, internal investigation, supervision, early warning system, emergency vehicle operations, criminal investigation, less lethal weapon alternatives, reporting and analysis of use of force incidents, police vehicle pursuit and employee discipline.

Authored Article:

Louis M. Dekmar, "Handling Citizen Complaints through Proactive Methodology," The Police Chief 77 (April 2010): 50–52.

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