Police chief stepping down after 22 years
by Kim Isaza
November 13, 2012 12:58 AM | 5322 views | 14 14 comments | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Smyrna Police Chief Stanley E. Hook stands at Smyrna Police Headquarters in the hallway lined with photographs of the Smyrna Police Department staff members through the years. <br> Photo by Emily Barnes
Smyrna Police Chief Stanley E. Hook stands at Smyrna Police Headquarters in the hallway lined with photographs of the Smyrna Police Department staff members through the years.
Photo by Emily Barnes
SMYRNA — Smyrna Police Chief Stan Hook is retiring after 22 years as the city’s top cop.

“There were 35,000 people in Smyrna when I came here,” said Hook, a native of New York. Smyrna now has more than 51,000 residents, according to the 2010 census.

Hook, 73, and his wife, Patricia, plan to stay in Smyrna, though they also have a home in Florida. They also have a new grandchild in South Carolina, so there will be plenty of trips there, he said.

“If I stayed until next June, I’d have 50 years as a police officer,” Hook said. “The missus told me it’s time to come home.”

The city is reviewing applicants for the job. There were a total of 51 applications, and 15 of those met initial qualifications for the job, Hook said. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police will further whittle down the list before city leaders make a selection. Four or five applications came from inside the department, Hook said.

Hook’s salary is just over $100,000 per year. His department has an annual budget of about $9.3 million and 92 officers.

Hook said he’d like to have more police officers.

“We would be in pretty good shape if we had six or seven more officers,” he said. “There’s too much activity going on all the time.”

Mayor Max Bacon described Hook as “just a common-sense guy.”

“He’s so level-headed,” the mayor said. “He never gets riled up. We’re lucky to have had him as our chief for 22 years.”

Before he came to Smyrna about 1990, Hook spent 27 years as a New York State Trooper in the Adirondacks region.

“When you’re in this business a long time, everything becomes routine to you,” Hook said. “In police work, you start out as an officer, and investigate crimes. It’s a lot of fun. Then you get promoted and become an administrator, and pretty soon there’s nothing left that resembles being a policeman.”

Bacon said he quickly knew Hook was right for the job.

“When we were hiring, the first thing I asked was, ‘Why are we interviewing someone from New York?’ But less than five minutes into the interview, I said ‘He’s the guy,’” Bacon said. “He came to work in a time when the department was not as operational-ready as it could have been, and he turned that around. He and I have had a great relationship because I didn’t try to run his department. He’s a one-of-a-kind chief. At one time, he was the most popular guy in Smyrna. People wanted to hear him speak before they wanted to hear the mayor speak.

“Plus, he’s a hell of a golfer.”

Although Hook said the city has naturally changed in his two decades as chief, he doesn’t see any one major challenge ahead for his successor.

“We’re like a nice safe haven in the middle of chaos,” he said of the city. “I feel safe and secure when I go out at night.”

Hook has agreed to stay on until a new chief is in place, though he and the mayor gave different timelines for that. Hook said he would likely remain on the job until mid-December, whereas Bacon said he hopes to name a new chief by Feb. 1.

Hook will also be among those helping select the new chief, he said.

“They figure after 49 years, I might know something about it,” he said.
Comments-icon Post a Comment
who's next
November 14, 2012
Question I have is, did he really ever 'step up'?

Mayor is losing a 'yes man'.
November 13, 2012
Detective Plumb for Chief!
February 28, 2013
Detective Plumb? You clearly must be on something good to make a statement so bold as that. I would be ashamed to endorse such a person as him.
November 13, 2012
Freedom of speech....if there is someone constantly almost daily accusing people of dishonesty, corruptness, liars, etc., they should not be surprised to get feedback on those accusations. Or is freedom of speech only a one-way street? Also, for a person to say "I don't know anything about blah-de-blah, but people are stupid to vote for them" shows their own stupidity!
Makes You Wonder
November 13, 2012
The word was put out before that meeting to arrest Kirkendoll to shut her up. Was it Hook or Bacon who issued the order?

Smyrna does have a problem with the 1st Amendment. But then again it also has a problem being a democracy.
guest reader
November 13, 2012
This is a very good and long career for a police chief. Congrats. I hope though the city seriously considers some fresh new blood from somewhere other than SPD after such a long tenure at the PD by the outgoing chief. might be quite beneficial
How did that happen?
November 13, 2012
He went from a New York State Trooper in the Adirondacks region to the chief of police in a city in metro Atlanta. That was a big leap. But that's how Bacon gets loyalty. Put people into positions in which they aren't qualified.

mary kirkendoll
November 13, 2012
Chief, take the mayor w/ you , please.

What we have up here in Smyrna is a very dishonest city, running their own private country club, courtesy of the taxpayers. The truth about my arrest (to silence me) really didn't come out. The chief knows the police report was false.

All I can say is, let's hope the FBI is doing investigations. The people in Smyrna deserve much better than the good ole boy network they have!
Here, here!
November 13, 2012
And take some of those aged city council people, too. It seems that some of them will be in a hospice before they retire.
tagglu vifion
November 13, 2012
Oh, wait, the torrent of MK. This article makes her day, I have no doubt. Biggest thing that happened to her since she won her lawsuit or Bacon won re-election. Oh, MK, go plant pansies or something in your despised neighborhood where you are so unhappy.
does your wife know.
November 13, 2012
that you continue stalking a private citizen?

(the poor guy that put 100,000 in his house, surrounded by slums, no doubt!!)

See, honest people can use their real name,.. while dishonest people have to hide behind aliases.

Uh,... have ya noticed no businesses will locate to Smyrna?

Yes, there is a problem in Smyrna.

The waste of taxpayer money.

The abuse of taxpayers.

The lies.300 atyCfo

mary kirkendoll
November 13, 2012
If this is Sean Murphy, who has been obsessed w/ me & has stalked me for years on Patch & the MDJ, I ask the Smyrna Police Department to please investigate. I do not feel safe in my home.
Pat H
November 13, 2012
It is called Freedom of Speech, and one wonders why anyone would consider it so important to attack Mary specifically.

One voice, one opinion - if she doesn't strike a nerve you would ignore her.

Seems to me the First Amendment is a problem in Smyrna. I don't know anything about Max Bacon except my husband went to high school with him, and why people would continue to vote for him illustrates the stupidity of the American voter.
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