Childress Named Valdosta Chief of Police

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City of Valdosta Release

The City of Valdosta announced today that Brian Childress, currently the Investigative Bureau Commander of the Valdosta Police Department (VPD), has been named Chief of Police.

Childress has been with the VPD since 2001, joining the department as a Lieutenant over Professional Services. He was promoted to Captain in 2004, where he served as the Accreditation Manager. In 2007, he was promoted to Commander of the Patrol Division, and in 2009 he was named the Commander of the Investigative Bureau.

Prior to working for the VPD, Childress was employed by the Perry Police Department in Perry, Ga. He also proudly served in the United States Air Force for 23 years—eight in active duty and 15 in the Reserves.

In naming Childress as the new Chief of Police, City Manager Larry Hanson said the city conducted a national search to find the best professional to lead the VPD into the future. Interest was very high in this position due to the outstanding reputation of Chief Frank Simons as well as the outstanding work and reputation of the men and women who serve the department and this community. As a result, the city received 45 applications from 16 states across the country.

“The city utilized an outside agency—the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police—to assist in the selection process, which included advertisement of the position, application review and the compilation of a short list of the most qualified candidates,” said Hanson, who went through a similar process to arrive at the final list of candidates to be interviewed. “Upon the completion of the interview process, I had no doubt that Commander Childress was the right professional to lead the men and women of the VPD and to serve the citizens of our great city.”

According to Hanson, the feedback he received from federal law enforcement professionals, state officials, military officials, and community leaders and citizens in general were highly supportive of Childress.

“In my time as City Manager, I have never witnessed such broad based community support and support from other agencies for a candidate. Such support is critical to the future success of our department,” said Hanson. “I am also aware that Brian withdrew his candidacy as a finalist for a chief’s position in another city with no guarantee of even getting an interview for the Valdosta position. His outstanding work and reputation, his loyalty and dedication and his demonstrated ability to work effectively with all citizens, all convince me that he is ready for this position and to lead our agency forward.”

Mayor John Gayle expressed his concurrence for the Chief of Police selection.

“Brian has the respect and support of our elected officials, as well as the men and women of the VPD—a solid foundation for an incoming Chief of Police,” said Mayor Gayle. “I look forward and am proud to serve the Valdosta citizens alongside of our new Chief of Police, Brian Childress, for the continued safety and well-being of our community.”

Childress has a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mercer University and a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University and is a graduate of the FBI Academy.

In learning about the selection, Childress said, “I am honored to serve as the next Chief of Police for the City of Valdosta. I am grateful for the support I have received from my family, the men and women of the police department, city officials and the community. I accept this tremendous responsibility, and I look forward to getting to work as your new chief.”

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