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    • Zoo Director, Chehaw Wild Animal Park and LA '12
  • Leadership Albany is among the most comprehensive community leadership training programs available from anywhere I have worked and lived. The curriculum provides a thorough education about community government, industry, services, business, and education. Program class members are a foundation of professional networking that fosters relationships throughout the community."

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    • Dougherty County School System and LA '09
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 | Published on 7/6/2016
Chief of Police, Albany Police Department


Michael Persley hopes by sharing lessons he’s personally learned, he can help others avoid making the same mistakes he did.  


“I would hope that they may also be able to take advantage of things that I wasn’t able or allowed to do and will excel in their lives,” says the Albany native, who after 22 years as a police officer was named his hometown’s Chief of Police last year. It’s an honor for him to serve the people of his community.


“I believe police officers are guardians of society and we are to constantly promote safety and security.” He’s equally as passionate about his relationship with his department.  In order to be a good leader, he says, you first have to be a good follower.


“I have had the opportunity to learn from some very awesome and inspiring people along with learning lessons from some not so good leaders. When you understand what followership means, you have a better appreciation of people when you are leading them.”


The youngest of three, Chief Persley self-proclaims to be his mother’s “best looking child.” He grew up to appreciate what he calls the cool history Albany has to offer that many people don’t know about, he says. “I have seen how Albany has grown over the years and I fully understand the significance it plays in the lives of many throughout Southwest Georgia.”


The Chief and his wife, Kimberly, have been married for 17 years and enjoy cooking, travelling, and spending weekends at home when he’s not working.

 Michael Persley