Another top Sandy Springs Police Department official has completed a two-week public safety leadership training program in Israel as part of the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange’s (GILEE) 30th annual peer-to-peer executive training program.

Major Forrest Bohannon of the Sandy Springs Police Department was part of a 20-member delegation that partnered with the Israel Police for the GILEE program. They were shown best practices and the latest technologies in policing and public safety during the program. They learned more about strategies to successfully lead law enforcement programs and use community policing to build safer neighborhoods for minority communities in partnership with all community stakeholders.

Maj. Michael Lindstrom took part in the GILEE program in 2022, and Capt. Norman Vik participated in the program in 2021.

The delegation included 12 Georgia police chiefs and command staff — including the Atlanta and Gwinnett public school system chiefs — three Georgia sheriffs, the director of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), a law enforcement coordinator for the Department of Justice, the director of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center, a deputy commissioner from the Georgia Department of Public Safety and a senior law enforcement official from Tennessee.

During their orientation, the delegates heard from several former GILEE delegates including Chattanooga Police Chief Celeste Murphy and John King, Georgia’s Insurance and Safety Fire Commissioner, whose interest focused on the use of volunteers in support of law enforcement operations during his time in Israel. He gave the keynote address prior to their departure.

“This will be the most impactful professional experience in your law enforcement career,” King said. “This experience has forged relationships that will last a lifetime. You’re going to be exposed to something truly extraordinary. It’s important that you think now about what you’re going to bring back, how you’re going to share your knowledge. You have a responsibility to give back.”

“GILEE gives U.S. law enforcement leaders an opportunity to expand their professional perspective by visiting their peers,” GILEE Associate Director Col. (Ret.) Brent Cummings said. “They are able to witness firsthand how their peers perform differently but also share many similarities.”

GILEE is a research center within Georgia State University’s Andrew Young School of Policy Studies. It enhances public safety by nurturing partnerships within and across public law enforcement agencies and the private sector.

For more information on GILEE, go to

Bob Pepalis covers Sandy Springs for Rough Draft Atlanta and Reporter Newspapers.