Lt. D.G. Schoeppner is Tucker’s liaison to the DeKalb County Police Department and can be followed at facebook.com/dgschoeppner or emailed at email@example.com.In the day and age we live, it is becoming more and more uncommon to see someone spend an entire career in the same job. Even in law enforcement, the reduction or outright elimination of pension benefits means that officers have started to hop from job to job looking for a better deal. Come the end of August, Tucker Precinct is going to bid farewell to one of a dying breed. Lieutenant B.A. Gailes is retiring with 30 years of service with DeKalb County.
Lt. Gailes served in the U.S. Navy and worked for a short time in corrections before he started with DeKalb County. In February 1991, he took a job with the Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer. Three years later he entered the Police Academy and started with the DeKalb County Police Department. After graduating the Academy, Lt. Gailes worked as a patrolman in Center Precinct. In those days, Center Precinct was in the Bobby Burgess Building on Memorial Drive and not the building that it currently occupies off of Northlake Parkway.
In 1999, Lt. Gailes transferred to DeKalb’s Special Victims Unit as a detective. There he investigated child abuse and sex crimes cases. A year later he moved over to the Major Felony Unit. Lt. Gailes was a detective there when Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown was murdered. That investigation eventually resulted in the arrest of the previous Sheriff, Sydney Dorsey.
In 2005, Lt. Gailes got promoted to the rank of Sergeant and was transferred to North Precinct. He was a supervisor on evening watch there until he transferred to South Precinct in 2010 to supervise the property crimes detectives. He served in this role until 2017, when he was promoted to Lieutenant and was made the day watch commander at South Precinct.
In June of 2017, Lt. Gailes transferred to Tucker Precinct, where he has commanded our evening watch until the present day. I have known of Lt. Gailes for years, but didn’t get to personally work with him until we were Sergeants together at South Precinct CID. I then got the chance to work with him again at Tucker Precinct.
I’m a little sad to see all of those years of experience and wisdom leave the department. However, I am happy that my friend has done his time and is moving on to the next chapter of his life. I’m sure he’ll be a success at whatever he chooses to do after retiring from the department; even if he chooses to just be retired.