Toccoa has a new police chief and the city did not have to go far to find him.
Monday, Toccoa City Manager Mike Jackson announced that he had selected Tim Jarrell as the city’s new police chief. The announcement followed a 90-minute executive session.
Jarrell, the city’s former assistant police chief, has been serving as interim chief since the retirement of Toccoa Police Chief Jackie Whitmire last August.
“I look forward to the opportunity to serve the citizens of the community,” said Jarrell following the announcement, adding he felt delighted and challenged by the opportunity.
According to Jackson, the city received 45 applications for the position and conducted several interviews, choosing Jarrell from among a group of six finalists.
Jackson said Jarrell knows the community well, continues to be involved in numerous civic activities, and has a good working relationship with surrounding law enforcement agencies.
He also cited Jarrell’s work as interim chief for 4 ½ months, saying he has done a great job in that capacity. According to Jackson, Jarrell has begun several initiatives during his tenure as interim chief to improve the organization and management of the police department, focusing on responsibility and accountability.
For his part, Jarrell said he looks forward to continuing to move ahead with the staff at the police department.
“We have a tremendous group of men and women in the police department and I look forward to working with them and to ensuring that our police department is the best police department in the state and hopefully the nation,” said Jarrell.
Meanwhile, Jackson called on the community to support Jarrell moving forward.
“The police chief is arguably the most visible position in the entire city government and in order to be successful, Tim is going to need the support of the commission, the support of the city manager, the support of all of his fellow department heads, and you,” said Jackson to the public. “So I ask you to please give Tim all of the support he needs and deserves as he takes on this very difficult job.”
Jarrell said that he will sit down with Jackson to talk about more of their goals for the police department.
The new chief did say that his first goal is to build upon the communication with the community.
“We can’t do our job without the community’s help and I want to open up those lines of communication more,” said Jarrell.
Following Jackson’s announcement, the city commission voted unanimously to confirm Jarrell’s appointment as chief. Toccoa Vice-Mayor Andy Pavliscsak called Jarrell a good man and an excellent choice for the position.
Prior to serving as interim chief, Jarrell had served as Toccoa Police Department Assistant Chief since July 2007. Prior to that, he served as a Deputy in the Stephens County Sheriff’s Department. He has over 20 years of law enforcement experience.