Leaders of a Georgia city will begin a search to replace its police chief after the current one was fired amid complaints about racial profiling.
Officials in Forest Park neglected to officially reveal why they voted 3-2 to immediately terminate Dwayne Hobbs and turn over the reins to an interim chief on Monday (Oct. 1). However, the firing comes as the department has been called out for racism. Hobbs, who had been with the department for 45 years, vehemently denied the profiling accusations, ABC affiliate WSB-TV reported.
It is likely that city leaders did heavily consider the racial profiling claims in making their decision — a rare move given that officers and chiefs are generally protected by its departments and don’t always face disciplinary courses of action.
The reactions to Hobbs’ termination were mixed, with some people defending him and others calling for change. Hobbs reportedly said he was confused as to why the Forest Park council was thinking about ending his career despite the racial profiling complaints.
The termination presents the opportunity for city leaders to bring in candidates of color for their police chief search. Whether or not they and the department will favor a chief of color to replace Hobbs is unclear. However, the community could overwhelmingly support the hiring of an African-American chief and take it as a sign that the department would work on overcoming its past of racial profiling complaints.
There have been several stories of police departments hiring Black chiefs for the first time in recent months. The Seattle police department hired Carmen Best in July and Charlottesville brought on RaShall M. Brackney in May.