Randy Turner swearing in

Randy Turner was sworn in as the new assitant chief of the Rockmart Police Department in the past weeks. (Contibuted photo)

The Rockmart Police Department recently made a new hire who has come back after a short stint as a chief in a Bartow County community.

In the past year, Randy Turner has moved from the Polk County Police Department to take over as Chief of the Emerson Police Department, and now he is the assistant chief of the Rockmart Police Department.

Turner said that he loved his job and the men under his command at Emerson, but when the chance came to come back home to Rockmart, he took it.

“I love being over here. This is where my family is, my kids are in school,” he said. “I have four daughters; they cheer, dance and everything in Rockmart. ... Any additional time I can spend here in the community with the people I love and my friends is good.”

Additional motivation for Turner came when he signed up to be a mentor in the Take Back Polk program before he event took the job officially. He said being closer to home gives him additional time to work on community programs like Take Back Polk and be more involved in improvement efforts.

“It was just a good move all around,” he said.

Turner, a veteran of the Polk County Police Department for 12 years after 8 years of service in the United States Marine Corps, moved on to take over as Emerson’s Police Chief earlier this year in April.

He came back when Police Chief Keith Sorrells let him know about the job opening.

“Randy and I have talked for several years,” Sorrells said. “I’ve had my eye on him for a while, and we’re grateful to have him.”

He added that with Turner’s experience with administrative duties, plus his ability to be a POST training supervisor and a firearms instructor, it gives the Rockmart Police Department added benefits they didn’t have before.

“He’s become the only employee of the Rockmart PD that lives within the city limits,” Sorrells said. “I think that’s a great benefit because it provides more buy-in from the community itself to help the police department, and for our officers to also become more involved in where they work and live.”

Turner began his role as the assistant chief after being hired back in September following the completion of a two-week Chief’s school, where he was one of 50 graduates this year.

The 60-hour course, administered and provided by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, is required by state law for all newly appointed heads of law enforcement agencies.

The curriculum is designed to give newly appointed law enforcement administrators and command staff personnel training on police management, as well as inform them of laws and policies affecting their departments. Topics covered in the course include: Managerial Liability and E.E.O.C. Laws, Police Manpower Allocation and Staffing, Community Policing, Budget Administration, Political and Practical Realities, Risk Management, Evolution of Ethics, Media Relations, Departmental Organization, Employee Selection Process, Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Overview, Promotional Systems, United States Department of Justice Programs, Leadership/Management Role of the Chief, Employee Performance & Employee Discipline, Legislative Process, Social Media for Law Enforcement Leaders, and other timely topics.

“The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police is pleased to provide executive level training for the professional development of Georgia’s new law enforcement leaders,” said GACP President Dennis Nelson of the Clayton County Department of Corrections.

The GACP provides the executive training for newly appointed heads of law enforcement agencies and command staff personnel twice a year, along with several other training programs throughout the state. It is the largest professional association for law enforcement administrators in Georgia, and one of the largest in the country.

The membership of over 1,700 includes executives representing municipal and county law enforcement agencies, college and university police departments, corporate and private security firms, and numerous state and federal agencies.

He said the school and his previous role with the Emerson Police Department lent insight he didn’t see before in his career in law enforcement.

“I really enjoyed working with city officials in Emerson, and it really opened my eyes to many different aspects of law enforcement,” Turner said. “It helps me for my future as well.”

As for Sorrells, he said with additional help with administrative duties in the Rockmart Police Department, he too can focus efforts on getting involved in the community.

“I’ve been wanting to get out for a long time and get involved with speaking to organizations and getting into our local schools,” he said. “With Randy on board, I can do some of that now.”