Brookhaven City Council members look out at the new Brookhaven police officers as Mayor J. Max Davis speaks at a ceremony launching the Brookhaven Police Department July 31.

Following the first roll call, Brookhaven police officers drove their new patrol cars in procession through Town Brookhaven July 31 to officially launch the Brookhaven Police Department.

More than 50 police officers stood at attention at the ceremony listening to remarks from Mayor J. Max Davis, City Manager Marie Garrett and Police Chief Gary Yandura.

Yandura presented each officer with a “challenge coin,” a coin printed with the police department’s logo. Yandrua said challenge coins are a military tradition recognizing achievement and department unity.

“One year ago today, residents voted to take ownership of in this community and become a city. We voted for safer neighborhoods and strong leadership,” Davis said. “Today, that promise becomes a reality with the launch of the Brookhaven Police Department.”

DeKalb County police, who have patrolled the city of Brookhaven since its incorporation in December, participated in the procession.

With blue and white lights flashing and sirens sounding, the two departments joined in a symbolic jurisdictional handoff. Brookhaven patrol cars circled Town Brookhaven and exited toward Hermance Drive while DeKalb patrol cars exited toward Peachtree Road.

Rep. Mike Jacobs, R-Brookhaven, who led the effort to create the city of Brookhaven in the state Legislature, attended the ceremony and said he was proud to see the new police department.

“It’s a great day for the new city,” Jacobs said. “This is the most visible manifestation of the creation of the city and I’m thoroughly impressed they put it together, start to finish, in less than four months.”