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Hiram police chief recounts his time in the city
by Adam Elrod
aelrod@neighbornewspapers.com
April 10, 2013 08:43 AM | 1111 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police Chief Gary Yandura will move to become the city of Brookhaven’s first police chief Monday after three years in Hiram.
Police Chief Gary Yandura will move to become the city of Brookhaven’s first police chief Monday after three years in Hiram.
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Hiram Chief of Police Gary Yandura looked back over his three years of accomplishments last week before leaving to build the new police department in Brookhaven.

Yandura will leave the command of a 26-employee department and a $1.2 million budget Monday.

He came to Hiram in 2010 after serving as chief of the College Park Police Department, and started restructuring a department which previously had operated under two interim police chiefs.

“When I came in here the department needed some organization work,” he said.

The city council gave him the authority to make changes in personnel and the ability to promote those he saw fit.

Yandura said his goal while he was in Hiram was building relationships with officers and the community through the different programs and positions he helped establish.

A position he sought which has been vital for the police force is an administrative position to work on grant writing.

Before he became chief Hiram typically had not applied for federal or state grants. Money received from the grants has been used for different items such as license plate recognition software, which attaches to officers’ cars to check background information on vehicle tags more efficiently. The grant was for about $15,000.

A program he established was the Citizen’s Police Academy, which teaches residents and business owners about department operations.

“It is a good basis to give back to the community,” Yandura said.

Those in the academy go through a 10-week program meeting once a week for three hours.

Yandura also took care of his officers when they needed new firearms. He was able to upgrade the department’s older Glock 40-caliber guns with 21 newer Glock 40-calibers for only $1,000. One gun typically can cost about $600.

Another community project Yandura instituted in Hiram is the National Night Out. The event, part of a national initiative, helps teach the community how they can help fight crime.

Yandura also worked to form a partnership with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety to reduce the number of drunk drivers on Hiram roads. The partnership paid off as the Office of Highway Safety paid $12,500 to replace computers in police cars which will be installed on April 20.

The chief also worked to make Hiram competitive with other departments by establishing a police car take-home policy

The policy allows officers to take their vehicles home, reducing their personal gasoline costs and allowing Hiram to offer the same job perk as other area departments.

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