On July 20, a crowd gathered at City Hall in Fort Oglethorpe to express appreciation to Capt. Gary McConathy and Officer Mitchell Moore for their years of service. McConathy and Moore are both retiring from the Fort Oglethorpe Police Department this year.
“These two officers,” says FOPD Chief Mike Helton, “have 59 total years of law enforcement between them, 43 years combined with Fort Oglethorpe Police. With their unique skill sets and personal abilities, they’ll be hard to replace.”
Helton says he knew both officers for many years before becoming chief of police for Fort Oglethorpe and is proud to have had the opportunity to serve as their chief.
“Mitchell Moore,” says Helton “is a reliable, level-headed, consistent officer. He is one who is great at calming people down and explaining things to citizens. And he has lots of practical knowledge along with his traffic expertise.”
“Gary McConathy,” says Helton, “is highly trained in traffic matters and in training others. He’s been a fixture around the police department for over 27 years. He usually has the answers to any question or issue someone needs help with.”
At a meeting of officers earlier in the day, Helton read aloud portions of our interviews with McConathy and Moore, reflections and memories from their careers and thoughts on what it means to be a police officer (see interviews in this issue).
City manager Jennifer Simpkins was also part of the reception for the officers. “We’re so grateful for all Cpt. McConathy and Officer Moore have done for us,” she says. “Our police department is really amazing.”
Neither officer plans to retire in the traditional sense. Both plan to move on to new ventures in life.