DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. -- As the DeKalb County Police Department unveils its new state-of-the-art south precinct, it also hopes to put a scandalous period of history behind it.
The building is named in honor of Captain Derwin Brown, who was elected as sheriff in 2000 after a heated run-off. He promised to clean up systemic corruption. Just days away from being sworn in, he was gunned down and killed outside his home.
The story that emerged after Brown's murder was one out of a crime novel. The outgoing sheriff, Sidney Dorsey, schemed with associates to kill his would-be successor and was there when the fatal shots were fired.
Dorsey is now behind bars for the rest of his life, and both the sheriff's department and police force have worked to repair the county's once tarnished image.
County Commissioner Stan Watson said the new south precinct is a reflection of that. A former empty Toys-R-Us building was fully renovated to hold 139 officers, a CSI lab and the latest technology including mobile units, Wi-Fi and cameras.
It is a space fellow law enforcement officers say Capt. Derwin Brown would have been proud of.
"I did not know him myself. It was before my time here, but everyone who has worked with him were so fond of him. His spirit will live on forever in this community because of the commitment that he gave," said Police Chief Cedric Alexander.