W. Wade Yates is removing the “interim” tag from his title as Fulton County’s police chief.
In a March 26 news release, the county announced Yates, who has served as the interim chief since October, when Darryl Halbert retired, has been named the permanent chief. His promotion was approved by the Fulton Board of Commissioners at its March 17 recess meeting, and Yates’ salary is $140,000.
“Wade Yates’ dedication to the citizens of Fulton County has spanned decades marked by community service and a commitment to the safety of our communities,” County Manager Dick Anderson said in the release. “He has been a great leader on the force during that time so it is fitting that he continue in this role after distinguishing himself in so many roles serving the county and its citizens.”
The police department serves unincorporated Fulton, including the Fulton County Executive Airport (formerly Charlie Brown Airport), and provides security oversight for county operations, including elections and facilities across Fulton.
Yates has served with the police department since 1993, when he started as a uniform patrol officer. Over the years he has served in several roles, and most recently he was promoted to deputy chief in 2019. Yates’ experience in law enforcement includes specialized areas of expertise in management, SWAT supervision and terror prevention.
Yates’ leadership posts include serving as chair of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative Critical Events/Special Operations Committee. “In this role, he is responsible for administering terrorism readiness grant throughout region to help identify and address weaknesses in terrorism prevention and law enforcement response,” the release stated.
He was also chosen through the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange as one of 18 delegates to work with Israeli Police and Israel Defense Forces to learn methods for the recognition, identification and neutralization of terror suspects in an urban environment.
Yates earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University, and is also a graduate of Mercer University’s Public Safety Leadership Institute.