New Commander Appointed for Zone 5
Major Chris Leighty was appointed as the new commander for Zone 5, which includes Downtown Atlanta. Leighty joined the Atlanta Police Department in 1990 after serving in the United States Marine Corps for 10 years. While in the Marines he attained the rank of Gunnery Sergeant and served in Beirut, Lebanon and Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm in Southwest Asia.
Upon completion of the Atlanta Police Academy Major Leighty served as a patrol officer in Zone One, and was later assigned to the Red Dog Unit where he served as a Team Leader and also operated in plainclothes assignment. He completed the FBI Hazardous Devices Course and was assigned to the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team in 1996. Upon his promotion to Sergeant Leighty was assigned as a supervisor with the Red Dog Unit and later reassigned to the SWAT Team as the Bomb Squad Commander and SWAT Supervisor for the Department. He was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to Zone Four, where he served as the Crime Suppression Unit Commander for Southwest Atlanta area. In 2008, Major Leighty was selected as the SWAT Team Commander for the Department where he served until his appointment of Major in January 2010. Major Leighty is assigned as the Commander of the Special Enforcement Section where he will be responsible for commanding the specialized crime fighting units.
Major Leighty holds an A.S. in Criminal Justice from Georgia Military College, a B.A.S. in Organization Leadership from Mercer University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude, and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University. Major Leighty is also a graduate of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College. He is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, The National Tactical Officers Association, and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.