Major Bates is a native of Atlanta. He is a decorated veteran of the United States Air Force (USAF) and a 27-year veteran with the Atlanta Police Department (APD). Upon his honorable discharge from the USAF, Bates enlisted in the Georgia National Guard. It was there that he developed his supervisory skills and was inspired to serve his community by joining APD.
He started his career with APD as a patrolman in Zone 3, in southeast Atlanta. In 1994, Bates was assigned to the Background and Recruitment Unit as a background investigator. He led recruitment initiatives to attain qualified and diverse, sworn and non-sworn applicants. Due to his military background, Bates was selected to serve on a specialized recruiting team of military veterans which targeted the recruitment of officers from military installations throughout the southeast region of the United States.
In 2004, Bates was promoted to the rank of sergeant and assigned to Zone 6, in east Atlanta. He held various positions as the sector sergeant and watch administrative sergeant, which included the duties of day-to-day zone operations, fleet accountability, and staff training. During his time in Zone 6, Bates also served as the administrative supervisor for crime analysis, crime prevention, logistics, and supplies. In 2012, Bates was assigned to head the Professional Development Unit at the Atlanta Police Academy. He led and managed all mandatory and specialized training for sworn active, reserve and civilian employees. He was also tasked with the implementation and supervision of elective specialized training for “active shooter,” officer survival and first aid. During his tenure at the academy, he was instrumental in leading the APD in the successful audit of over 2,000 officer certifications with Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).
In 2012, Bates was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and served as watch commander of the Zone 3 precinct, where he managed police operations and provided command level supervision. In 2014, he returned to the Atlanta Police Academy where he served as the academy assistant commander. While serving as assistant commander, he taught mandated courses to ensure compliance with the department’s policies and procedures. He was appointed as the Atlanta Police Leadership Institute (APLI) director in 2014. In this role, he assisted in the selection of applicants for multiple tier classes and coordinated the first inaugural graduating APLI class. Later in 2014, Bates was assigned as the Homeland Security Commander. As commander, he collaborated with local and federal agencies to ensure the safety of multiple presidential and dignitary visitors.
In 2016, while still assigned to Homeland Security, Bates was appointed to the rank of captain. As captain, he served as the Special Enforcement Section (SES) assistant commander. He supervised various daily operations of Homeland Security, Narcotics, Robbery and the Criminal Intelligence Unit. In 2017, Bates was assigned to serve as the assistant commander of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport; in this role, he successfully implemented and led new traffic control and security methods. He was also tasked to manage and develop the airport’s security plan for Super Bowl LIII.
In 2019, Bates was appointed to the rank of major and assigned as the commander of the SES, where he oversees and leads progressive strategies of crime suppression, the Drug Marketing Initiative, and Project Safe Neighborhood. During this same year, Bates represented APD in the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) 27th annual peer-to-peer training program in partnership with Israel.
Throughout his extensive law enforcement career, Bates has prided himself in being able to serve and protect the City of Atlanta, and he continues to set an example professionally and personally. He is a member of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), Atlanta Metropol Inc. and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP). He is a graduate of the historic Joseph E. Brown High School and one of the first African American men to be accepted from the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps to attend Clark College and Georgia Tech dual degree Engineering Naval Officer Training program. Bates is a certified POST general instructor.
Bates is the proud father of three children. He values serving his community and providing exceptional knowledge and leadership for the future of law enforcement.