Kyle Keyser — crime fighter, former mayoral candidate, gay guy and all around “People of the Year” – now finds himself defending his role in picking the city’s new top cop.
On Friday, Mayor Kasim Reed tapped Acting Chief George Turner as his nominee to permanently run the Atlanta Police Department. The pick came with some consternation from police critics concerned that the mayor overlooked recommendations from his own police chief search committee to pick Turner, a 29-year veteran of the embattled department.
Keyser (photo), the founder of Atlantans Together Against Crime, was one of four former mayoral candidates Reed asked to help with his searches for cabinet officials. Keyser joined with Outwrite owner Philip Rafshoon as the two openly gay members of the police chief search.
Early Sunday Keyser took to his Facebook page to defend the search process and clear up some confusion about whether Reed circumvented the search committee by adding Turner as a finalist when the committee didn’t include him in their top three picks.
Mayor Reed obviously picked who he wanted to pick. That’s his prerogative.
No, George Turner was not one of the three people recommended by the Police Chief Search Committee but that does not make him a “bad” candidate for the job. He did, in fact, still make a competitive short list of 6 names culled from over 30.
In regards to the controversy surrounding the committee, there was obvious miscommunication between the Mayor’s Office and ourselves. I take the Mayor at his word when he says he always wanted five names. I trust he takes me at mine when I say we were always told three.
But Keyser says he supports both Reed’s selection of Turner and him as the city’s next top cop.
As Acting Chief, George Turner demonstrated a unique zeal for getting things rolling. I support him in hopes he keep doing so. The time for world class public safety in Atlanta is now. Let’s move forward and work with our city leadership to ensure that happens.