BROOKHAVEN — Deputy Chief Brandon Gurley was recently named Brookhaven’s new police chief.
Gurley succeeds Brookhaven’s first police chief, Gary Yandura, who retires in January 2023 after nearly 10 years of service with Brookhaven Police.
“I was honored to administer the Oath of Office to Chief Gurley today,” said Brookhaven Mayor John Ernst. “I am proud of the stellar work that Chief Emeritus Yandura accomplished in his 10 years with Brookhaven, and I am confident that Chief Gurley will continue the charge of leading the department with integrity and innovation.”
Upon Deputy Chief Gurley’s promotion to Police Chief, Yandura has assumed the role of Chief Emeritus, to serve as an advisor and consultant to ensure a smooth transition of leadership.
“I am humbled and honored to serve Brookhaven as police chief. I will be continuing the tradition of Brookhaven Police to fulfill our mission of enhancing the quality of life for all within our community by providing professional, high quality, and effective police services in partnership with the community,” said Gurley.
Gurley joined the Brookhaven Police Department in April 2013 just 10 days after the hiring of the City’s first Police Chief, Gary Yandura, and had a crucial role of the startup and development of the City of Brookhaven’s police department.
Once the department took over police services from neighboring DeKalb County, Gurley commanded the day shift patrol units before taking command of the Support Services Division. In January 2016, he took over command of the Patrol Division and its 44 members to include four lieutenants, four sergeants, and four corporals. He was promoted to Deputy Chief of Police in March 2019.
“The police department is one of the City’s most critical and highly visible services and Gary Yandura has established a universally recognized and respected Police Department. As with any organization, a methodical and deliberate transition of leadership is extremely important,” said City Manager Christian Sigman. “This whole process is in keeping with our Sustainable Brookhaven initiative, which includes fostering an organizational culture that develops talent, connects with the community, and formulates long-term succession planning to serve our community.”
Gurley began his law enforcement career in 1999 with the Paulding County Sheriff’s Office before joining the Sandy Springs Police Department in 2012. During his law enforcement career, Gurley has worked in or with the 911 center, detention center, patrol, criminal investigations, community engagement and media relations. He also served as team leader for the Paulding County SWAT team and the Crisis Negotiations Team for both Paulding and Sandy Springs. Gurley has received numerous commendations and awards including the Life Saving Award, Medal of Valor, a Medal of Merit, and Deputy of the Year.
Gurley has a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies in Criminal Justice Administration through Georgia State University, a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, and an Associate’s degree in liberal studies.
He and his wife of more than 20 years have two teenage children and a rambunctious Shih Tzu.
Yandura retires in January 2023 after 47 years of service in law enforcement. Yandura was appointed Brookhaven Police Department’s first chief in April 2013, and previously served as chief of police in Hiram and College Park. He is credited with reducing crime by 30 percent during his first four years as College Park’s chief.
Yandura started his law enforcement career in Lake Forest, Ill., where he spent 24 years. He retired from Lake Forest as deputy chief.
Yandura is a graduate of the FBI Academy and certified by the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He has a Master’s in public administration from Roosevelt University in Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Illinois.
He also has served on a number of boards with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police and International Chiefs of Police Association, as well as the Georgia State Senate Subcommittee regarding Child Exploitation.