Brookhaven Mayor J. Max Davis announced the hiring. Yandura’s first day will be April 15 in the north DeKalb County city.
Yandura has led the Hiram department since 2010. He came to Hiram after more than a decade as chief of the College Park Police Department in south Fulton County.
He is a 38-year veteran law enforcement officer and will be tasked with building Brookhaven’s new police department until it begins operation in late summer, city leaders said Tuesday.
“Today is a historic day because it is the start of Brookhaven becoming a safer community,” Davis said. “Chief Yandura’s record of reducing crime, building community partnerships and leading with integrity is exactly what Brookhaven needs for us to meet this goal.”
Yandura also previously served as chief of police in College Park. During his tenure in College Park, he managed 160 employees and a $12 million annual budget. He is credited with reducing crime drastically during his first tenure as College Park’s chief.
Yandura started his law enforcement career in Lake Forest, Ill., where he spent 24 years.
Yandura is a graduate of the FBI Academy and certified by the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He has a master’s in public administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois.
City Manager Marie L. Garrett selected Yandura after reviewing 98 applications from around the nation and interviewing 10 finalists. The Brookhaven charter specifies that the city manager has sole discretion on the chief appointment.
“I am excited to have Chief Yandura join our team,” Garrett said. “We received a lot of interest from experienced candidates, but Yandura was the right person to help build a new police department from the ground up.”
In addition to staffing, the new chief will be tasked with establishing an organizational structure, developing policies and procedures, helping set up a police station, creating an annual budget and managing daily operations.
“I am honored to help build a new police department that Brookhaven residents and businesses can be proud of,” Yandura said. “My first task will be to assess the community’s needs and determine the number of officers needed to protect and serve the city. I will work closely with city staff to hire the best officers to patrol Brookhaven.”
Brookhaven currently has an intergovernmental agreement with DeKalb County to provide police services. The goal is to have Brookhaven officers on the road by the end of the summer.