Armuchee resident Mark Hambert has just been promoted to North Georgia Adjutant for the Georgia State Patrol. Hambert will now be responsible for GSP operations north of a line from Columbus to Macon to Augusta.

“I’ve just been blessed, the good Lord has been good to me,” Hambert said Friday.

Maj. Hambert worked with the Floyd County Police for six years before joining the GSP 28 years ago. Floyd County Police Chief Mark Wallace recalls a time when Hambert was one minute late for a sergeants promotion exam and Houston Freeman refused to allow him to sit for the test.

“He’s so smart he would have been a shoo-in to get a sergeant’s position,” Wallace said. “It’s a joke every time we get together. I say look how being late changed your life.”

Wallace said he liked to joke around and have fun, but when he was on the clock “he was all business.”

He has worked his way through the ranks over the years and before being appointed as Major and North Georgia Adjutant, he served as the executive officer under GSP Commanding Officer Major Tommy Waldrop.

“What they have done is re-organize. It’s a big state and it’s hard to cover the whole state so they gave me the north half,” Hambert said.

The most challenging aspect to his new role, according to Major Hambert, involves balancing the needs and expectations of the public, with taking care of the troopers under his leadership.

“I want to make sure our troopers are treating everyone right and doing the best job they know how while at the same time keeping them safe so they get home every day,” Hambert said. “I oversee all the troopers, all the posts, aviation, any specialty units, DUI Task Forces, anything that goes with the state patrol.”

He is currently working on a manpower study which will be presented to Gov. Brian Kemp soon. “We need people. We’re probably somewhere between 80 and 100 troopers short,” Hambert said. “It’s just like everybody else in law enforcement. It’s not a job a lot of people want nowadays. It’s more dangerous.”