A little more than a week after a report detailed the for slain 7-year-old Jorelys Rivera, Canton has announced the man who will examine the tactics.
LaGrange Public Safety Chief Louis M. Dekmar has been tapped to "conduct a professional review and assessment of actions taken" by the agency, Canton City Manager Scott Wood said in a statement released late this afternoon.
The Canton Police Department, which spearheaded the search, has come under fire for its failure to immediately call in the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Child Abduction Response Team after Jorelys, a first-grader, disappeared.
Jorelys was , but the CART team was not called until Dec. 4 and didn't join the search until 7 a.m. Dec. 5. Within hours, authorities in a Dumpster from the apartment.
An autopsy found that she likely died 60 to 90 minutes after she disappeared. Jorelys had been , GBI director Vernon Keenan said at a Dec. 6 press conference.
With lingering questions over how the Canton Police Department handled the search for Jorelys, .
"To learn from any shortcomings and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our department—and for no other reason," he said at the time.
Dekmar, who has spent 20 of his 34 years in law enforcement as a chief of police or public safety, has "extensive experience in the conduct of such reviews," Wood said today.
In addition to providing more than 300 hours of training programs to police leaders, elected officials and other law enforcement officials across the country, Dekmar serves as a commissioner and president of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.
For three years in the mid- to late-2000s, he was a monitor for the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. In that role, he developed safeguards to deal with bias-based profiling and other officer misconduct issues in Villa Rica.
"We have full confidence that Mr. Dekmar will conduct a thorough, objective and professional review and assessment of the actions of our department and report his findings accordingly," Wood said.
He started in Canton on Wednesday at a pay rate of $150 an hour.
A completed report will be submitted to the city manager within the next several weeks, Wood said.
"If there's issues or problems out there that we did, we'll make adjustments," . "We'll fix those problems. We're open-minded. We're not close-minded in anything that we do here."
Open the attached PDFs to learn more about Dekmar's background.