The Aragon Police Department has an acting chief in place following a move by Mayor Garry Baldwin to put new leadership in place.
Chief Marc Riley is now a sergeant and Lt. Brad Loyd will be serving as acting chief, according to Baldwin.
Loyd was born and raised in Rockmart, and is a graduate of Rockmart High School's Class of 2003. After finishing his education, he joined the United States Marine Corps and served until 2012.
He reached the rank of sergeant during his time in service, and was deployed to Iraq twice in 2004 and 2006, then to Afghanistan in 2011.
Loyd returned to Polk County and began as a police officer in 2013, then joined the Aragon Police Department in November 2016. His twin brother Brandon Loyd also serves as an officer in the Polk County Police Department.
He said he was "excited" about his new role as acting chief. He said he mainly wants to be of service to the residents of Aragon and try to make community improvements as one of his first tasks in the job.
Loyd added that "I want to try and get some control on all the drugs in our community.".
Baldwin said the move "was not disciplinary but administrative," and though Riley will lose some of his pay, the city isn't cutting him down to sergeant's pay.
"He'll lose a small amount of his pay, but we're giving him credit for the number of years that he has served the city," he said. "It's not what he was making, but pretty close."
A call to Riley for comment has not yet been returned.
Riley was appointed by former Mayor Ken Suffridge as the city's police chief in September 2015 after former chief Wayne Sanders went on disability in 2014. Riley had prior to that been acting chief. He originally started his career as a part time officer in Aragon in 2001, and went full time as a sergeant in 2003 before leaving in 2007. He returned in 2010 and was promoted to lieutenant in 2014 before later becoming assistant, and then full chief of the department.
Baldwin explained he wanted to "move in a different direction" in how the police department operates.
"I'm wanting to get the community more involved with the police department," Baldwin said. "I want the community to know that they need to be part of the solution to lower crime."
He said among the priorities he wants the department to focus on in the coming months includes combating drugs, juvenile delinquency and property thefts, among others. He added that Aragon residents need to call 911 when they are victims of a crime when it happens, and not post about incidents on social media platforms.
"911 isn't checking Facebook for reports of crimes," he said. "No call to 911 is ever wasted, and it will allow our department to work more effectively."
His additional hopes are that local residents will take part in an upcoming Town Hall meeting later in the month to get fresh ideas about directions the city should move toward in the future. That meeting is scheduled for Feb. 24 starting at 1 p.m. at City Hall.