Smart Policing:  The Public/Private Partnership That Protects Atlanta
Aug 27, 2019 12:00 PM
Dave Wilkinson, Atlanta Police Foundation
Smart Policing: The Public/Private Partnership That Protects Atlanta

Dave Wilkinson is one of America’s leading law enforcement professionals.  Before joining the Atlanta Police Foundation, he served for 22 years with the United States Secret Service in a variety of senior operational and managerial positions, including Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Presidential Protection under Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Investigations, and Special Agent in Charge of the Secret Service’s Georgia Division.

He was awarded the Secret Service Distinguished Service Award from President Bush for his leadership, supervision of agents and decisive actions on 9-11, when the nation was under multiple terrorist attacks.

Dave was named President & CEO of the Atlanta Police Foundation (APF) in 2005.  Working with three successive Atlanta mayors and Chiefs of Police, Dave created the Foundation’s unique public/private partnership designed to make Atlanta the safest large city in the nation.

The Foundation is an independent non-profit, funded by business, philanthropic and civic leaders in Atlanta.  The public/private partnership has allowed APF to bring the long-term focus and fiscal discipline of the private sector to law enforcement challenges of a major urban market.

As one of the most respected thought leaders in the law enforcement community nationally, Dave has led the Atlanta Police Foundation to be an indispensable strategic planning and research partner to the Mayor of Atlanta, the Chief of Police and the Atlanta Police Department’s Command Staff.  The Foundation creates innovative training protocols, researches and funds state-of-the-art technology for law enforcement, and develops long-term approaches that address perennial public safety issues, such as repeat offenders, police visibility, police collaboration with the courts, probation and corrections system, and youth crime.

APF created the nationally-renowned At-Promise initiative, which addresses youth crime by building strong bonds between police officers and young people and diverting troubled youth toward a pathway to productive lives. In the program’s first two years of operation, it has reduced recidivism of its nearly 400 enrollees to four percent, from a national average of nearly 70 percent.

Earlier this year, the FBI honored the Atlanta Police Foundation’s At-Promise initiative with its coveted Director’s Award, for significant advances in crime reduction and community engagement.

Dave is a graduate of Tennessee Tech University. He lives in Brooks, Georgia, with his wife, Renee, and his two sons, Jacob and Jonathan.

INVOCATION: Elizabeth Fullerton