The Sugar Hill City Council held a special called session Tuesday, Jan. 18, during which they oversaw the swearing-in of deputy chief marshals Jose Collazo and Andy Smith.
The two will join Chief Marshal Diane King, who was appointed in September as head of the newly created Department of Public Safety.
According to a city of Sugar Hill news release, the department is not intended to regulate minor offenses like speeding tickets or traffic violations, but rather that, “It is about community policing, coordinating city-wide emergency operations, and providing an enhanced level of public safety in our downtown, parks, greenway, and neighborhoods.”
This includes coordinating with the city’s private security patrol contractor, Insight Protection Services, as well as liaising with the Gwinnett County Police Department and other local law enforcement.
King, a 20-year veteran of the GCPD, is also a longtime Sugar Hill resident and frequently showcased her dedication to the community’s safety by aiding off-duty, after-hours patrolling of the area at the city’s request.
“Diane is doing a fabulous job and has hit the ground running organizationally and procedurally,” said City Manager Paul Radford, whose office oversees the Department of Public Safety. “She has established relationships with GCPD as well as many of the area law enforcement agencies. She is fully committed to the concept of community policing and working collaboratively with GCPD to provide 24-hour coverage of our entire community.”
Collazo and Smith are the first hires under King’s authority, and the department also plans to fill two additional active marshal positions, as well as an administrative assistant role. Radford predicts the department will be fully staffed by May.
Both of the new deputy chief marshals are POST-certified, meaning they have been verified by the state of Georgia as fit and capable peace officers.
Collazo has served for more than 13 years as an investigator with the GCPD as well as remaining active in a nonprofit organization called Gwinnett United in Drug Education, or GUIDE. Radford also said that he is, “a Sugar Hill resident and shares and embraces the vision of community policing.”
Smith comes to Sugar Hill after his recent retirement from the Gainesville Police Department. He retired as a lieutenant and also served as a watch commander in charge of managing daily operations.
“His experience adds significant value to the city marshal’s office, and he is excited about participating in the start-up of the marshal’s office and our community policing vision,” Radford said.
FEATURED PHOTO: Jose Collazo, left, and Andy Smith, right, have joined the Sugar Hill Department of Public Safety as deputy chief marshals under the leadership of Chief Diane King, center. Photo courtesy of Victoria Richburg with the city of Sugar Hill.