F’ville’s Heaton elected VP of Ga. Association of Police Chiefs
Fayetteville Police Chief Steve Heaton has worked with and been an member of the Georgia Police Chiefs Association (GAPC) for years. He was recently elected as the GAPC 4th Vice President and was sworn in last month.
“I was glad to be elected to the position, but it comes with a lot of work,” Heaton said recently.
Heaton said he became interested in being on the board because he has been actively involved with some of its functions since he held the rank of major.
“And I’ve stayed actively involved as chief,” Heaton said, noting his participation on GAPC committees dealing with issues such as legislation, false alarms and certification. “So, for me, being on the board is an extension of that service.”
Heaton has been in law enforcement for the past 30 years and has worked in a variety of areas to include patrol, investigations, internal affairs, public information, accreditation, state certification and administration. More recently, he worked in investigations, moving through the ranks from detective to major until he was hired as Fayetteville Police Chief in March 2006.
The work of the GAPC board involves assisting police chiefs and other agencies in enhancing professionalism and in a variety of day-to-day issues, Heaton said. An example of that assistance was research that culminated in the requirement that departments submit data on traffic pursuits. Another example, said Heaton, dealt with the state crime lab.
“A white paper dealing with the importance of the crime lab in helping solve crimes was developed and presented to the legislature,” Heaton said, adding that board members maintain an ongoing involvement with legislative issues and are sometimes called to testify.
Heaton has a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration and a Masters of Public Administration. He is a graduate of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Command College, Tennessee Law Enforcement Executive Development Course, Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy.
Heaton is also an assessor and team leader for the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and he serves on several boards and committees such as the State Certification for Law Enforcement Agencies’ Committee for the State of Georgia, the Legislative Committee for the Georgia Chiefs of Police and Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange.