lagrangenews.com

West Point chief shares vision for police department

Steena Hymes shymes@civitasmedia.com

June 19, 2014

As West Point said goodbye to one chief, they welcomed a new one in Chief Tony Bailey.


With two weeks under his belt, Bailey is already starting to put his vision for West Point into action and looking to grow within the city.


Bailey joins the West Point Police Department coming from Acworth Police Department where he was a captain. Born and raised in Cobb County, he has 20 years’ service in public safety.


He started out in Smyrna Police Department before heading over to the Smyrna Fire Department. After a brief stint in fire, Bailey came back to police work, heading to Woodstock for nine years and then over to Acworth.


Bailey said he wasn’t interested in leaving Acworth, however when he saw an open position in West Point he was intrigued.


The more he researched about West Point and the community, Bailey said he “fell in love” with the vision set forth by the mayor and council.


Bailey follows in the footsteps of previous Chief Jeff Cato who is credited with several accomplishments during his time in office with a heavy focus on community policing.


Bailey, too, plans to keep heavy focus on the community aspect of his job.


“No doubt, Chief Cato did a lot of great things in this community and for this department specifically,” he said. “I do want to continue some of the things he was doing because there is great value in it.”


Bailey added that his vision for his time as chief is to engage with the entire community, including schools, neighborhoods and businesses.


“We are going to be actively involved in all aspects of this community to ensure that we’re able to provide the best quality service,” Bailey said.


One specific goal Bailey hopes to address is accreditation, both state and even CALEA. The department is currently actively working towards that now, though it remains in the early stages he said.


Bailey also emphasized his goal to establish a team environment between the West Point Police Department and surrounding agencies and departments within the area.


Fulfilling his vision to engage with the community, Bailey said he is in the process of moving to West Point and will seek to be as involved in West Point as possible. He adds the the city will be seeing a lot more of police presence and hopes it will produce a good relationship between officers and citizens.


Bailey called his first two weeks a “whirlwind” saying the community support has been overwhelming.


“The biggest thing I’m looking forward to is just seeing how this city is going to grow,” he said. “There are some great things going on right now. The mayor and council have great vision and they’ve done a lot of hard work in making this happen and I’m just looking forward to seeing that finally start coming to fruition.”