Cobb County Sheriff Neil Warren has appointed Col. Sonya Allen as his second in command to take over from retiring Chief Deputy Sheriff Milton Beck in August.

Allen has spent 27 years with the Cobb sheriff’s office.

In a Friday news release, Sheriff Warren praised the colonel’s extensive law enforcement work to date, which includes stints in the narcotics, field operations, fugitive and detention units, court services, criminal investigations and internal affairs.

Allen is currently assigned to the sheriff’s executive office and oversees legal, legislative, budgeting and contractual services for the agency.

“I have seen how Sonya has gained a broad range of experiences during her career and how she has used those skills and expertise to positively impact the sheriff’s office,” Warren said. “She has been an excellent role model for accountability, public service and community engagement.”

A Kennesaw resident, Allen grew up in east Cobb and graduated from Sprayberry High School in 1987.

She obtained a bachelor’s of science in 1991 from the University of West Georgia and received a Juris Doctor in 1999 from John Marshall Law School.

Allen is a member of the state and county bar and has completed the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Cobb and Honorary Commanders programs.

She is also a leader of the Cobb Youth Leadership Program and is active in her home community as a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. and a gymnastics judge for the Georgia High School Association.

Allen, whose daughter recently graduated from Harrison High School and plans to attend the University of North Georgia this fall, will officially start as Chief Deputy Sheriff on Aug. 23.