The Northcrest Civic Association (NCA) is pleased to welcome Chad Hannula to the Safety & Security Committee. As well as being a Northcrest resident since 2007 with his wife and three children, Chad has considerable experience in law enforcement having worked for both Atlanta Police Department (APD) and most recently ensuring the safety of Atlanta Public Schools in the position of 'Commander'.
The NCA recently caught up with Chad and asked him about his experience in public safety and his background.
NCA: How long have you been involved in public safety?
Chad: I have over 20 years police experience beginning in 1990 with the United States Airforce where I was a decorated veteran, having served in Osan, Korea, Robins AFB GA., and Desert Storm as a Security Specialist on the Airforce EST (SWAT) team.
NCA: Can you tell Northcresters a little bit about how you got into law enforcement?
Chad: Sure. In January 2001 I started my career in civilian law enforcement with the Atlanta Police Department. I held positions in Patrol and Auto theft task force, both as an officer and a Senior Patrol Officer, before being promoted to the rank of Sergeant. After promotion I took over as the Underground morning watch commander. I was then moved to run the Burglary unit for down town Atlanta where myself and my team handled every case making several arrests helping to reduce the burglary rate in the city by a significant margin.
I was then chosen to help the department start up the new 'community services' division within APD, which included Special Operations, Airport, C.O.P.S and Code enforcement. I worked as the Chief of Staff for the division and I was selected as one of the supervisors to lead a team to assist Charlotte in securing the Democratic National Convention.
NCA: So you have a decorated background that includes a wide range of law enforcement tasks. What was next in your career?
Chad: From there I went on to start the Path Force Unit, which is the unit tasked with policing the Atlanta Beltline. It was our responsibility to keep it safe for millions of visitors as well as promoting the community policing philosophy. I eventually left this assignment and went to the School Detective Unit where I supervised School Resource Officers and Investigators that dealt solely with school based crime.
NCA: So now you moved to policing in Atlanta Public Schools.
Chad: Correct. When Atlanta Public Schools decided to start their own full service police department they hired me into the position of Commander, which then prompted my retirement from APD after 16 years.
NCA: Wow, that's quite a long time of service to your community. Can you tell us about some of the numbers in your new role as Commander?
Chad: As Commander I served as the second in command of a department of 70 sworn officers, with over 150 total employees. We were securing over 130 facilities, which included 94 schools. It was our mission to deliver safety to our children, giving them the best atmosphere for teachers to teach and children to learn, while mentoring counseling and policing.
NCA: That's an excellent track record, Chad, and I'm sure Northcrest is pleased to have you as part of the NCA Safety Committee. In brief, can you tell us in one sentence what you hope to achieve working with our community?
Chad: I hope to use my years of experience and thousands of hours of specialized training to help keep Northcrest a neighborhood where people feel safe.
Editor's Note: The NCA Safety & Security survey is now live and open for Northcrest residents. Updates to follow soon on the NCA's very first Safety & Security meeting.