LaGrange Police Chief Honored at ADL In Concert Against Hate

LaGrange, Ga. October 31, 2017 – LaGrange Police Chief Louis Dekmar was one of four people honored in Washington, D.C. last night.

The 23rd annual Anti-Defamation League In Concert Against Hate was at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts Monday, October 30th.

In January, Dekmar, La-Grange Mayor Jim Thornton, LaGrange College President Dan McAlexander, along with other community and faith members apologized for the department’s involvement in the 1940 lynching death of Austin Callaway, an African-American teenager.After the teen’s death, officials did not investigate or attempt to find Callaway’s killers.

Debra Tatum, Austin Callaway’s relative, NAACP President Ernest Ward along with other community members and members of the faith community worked together with Dekmar and continue to do so today.

Dekmar says he was honored to accept last night’s award on behalf of the Callaway family, the Troup County NAACP, LaGrange College, and the City of La-Grange.

“I commend the ADL for recognizing communities who have invested in racial trust building initiatives,” he said “This is but the first step in what our community leaders have been working on the last three years.”

Dekmar was honored as a ‘bridge builder for racial reconciliation in the South.’

According to Doron Ezickson with the Anti-Defamation League, ‘Chief Louis Dekmar recognized the power and responsibility of his office in moving his department and the citizens of LaGrange towards racial reconciliation.’

‘By publicly acknowledging and apologizing for historical wrongs, he led the community forward in a process that is working to restore trust between members of law enforcement and those in the community who remained acutely aware of those family members and friends unjustly treated in the past. His actions serve as a model for other agencies across the country.’

Last week Chief Dekmar was installed as the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, or the IACP.

The IACP is the world’s largest law enforcement leadership organization.

One of his initiatives includes the TRUST initiative that will be partially funded by the million dollar Michael Jordan Grant. The goal is to provide support and resources for police leaders who must engage with communities that carry the mistrust of the past into the present.

For more information go to https://www. adlconcert. org Contact: Melanie Kahn, Associate Regional Director, Washington DC Region, (202) 740-8063 or mkahn@adl.org To keep up with the latest news involving the City of LaGrange, go to www.lagrangega. org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com /lagrangegagov, Twitter at @lagrangegagov, & Instagram at instagram.com /cityoflagrangega