RINCON, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Rincon now officially has a new chief of police. Although he may be new to the position, he certainly isn’t new the department or the city.
Monday at Rincon City Council they made it official.
“It was surreal you know,” said the new Rincon Police Chief Jonathon Murrell after he was approved by city council Monday.
“I was hopeful but I’ll never say I knew it was coming,” said Chief Murrell.
For Chief Murrell, who grew up in Rincon and spent the past 10 years with the department it’s all he could’ve asked for.
“It feels good to help the community that I grew up in and the family and friends I have here,” said Chief Murrell.
Of course, this position is one that has seen plenty of turnover over the past couple of years.
Something the new chief says ends with him.
“This is it. I told council when they appointed me they were going to have to beat me out the door because I plan to end my career here in Rincon.”
Hoping to set the tone for the entire department.
“That’s one of my top goals. I want to end the turnover. I want to bring stability to the police department and city of Rincon,” said Chief Murrell.
A stability that starts with change.
Some change Chief Murrell began during his tenure as interim chief.
“I wanted to bring an entirely new image to the department.”
Partially through sprucing up the building itself.
Adding a fresh coat of paint and working to bring in a new fleet of vehicles, new design and all.
But also by working to add more diversity to the department and opening up a line of communication to the public.
“If you need to come in and dispute something we’re here and we encourage it. We want to make sure our guys are doing the right thing in the street and we want to hold people accountable when it needs to be,” says Chief Murrell.
Something the chief feels may be more important now than ever before.
While he may be just a few days into the new gig he's more confident than ever that this department is exactly where he's meant to be.
“We’ve got a great group of guys, men and women, that do the job everyday. They get along well. The morale is great here and everybody pitches in and does their job and more,” said Chief Murrell.
Chief Murrell pointed out that during his tenure of interim chief until now the department has only seen one person leave.
A number that is much lower than almost any other time over the past few years and something that gives him confidence going forward.