Two finalists for Perry police chief fielded from Middle Georgia

bpurser@macon.comDecember 6, 2012 

PERRY -- The two finalists for Perry police chief are from Middle Georgia.

Steve Lynn, an investigator for the Houston County District Attorney’s Office, and J.T. Ricketson, a GBI special agent in charge of the Middle Georgia Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Milledgeville, were named finalists in a 4-0 vote of Perry council at a special called meeting Thursday. Council members Phyllis Bynum-Grace and Riley Hunt were absent.

The opening was created by the June retirement of George Potter as director of public safety.

Mayor Jimmy Faircloth said a second interview with each of the finalists is expected to be scheduled for as early as next week. Council may opt to name the police chief the same night following those interviews, or elect to do so at a subsequent called meeting, Faircloth said.

Lynn, who has served 33 years in public safety, said by telephone that he was honored to be in the final cut.

Before joining the district attorney’s office, Lynn served as a captain supervising property and evidence at the Warner Robins Police Department, according to his résumé. He moved up through the ranks at the department, starting in patrol in 1981. He served three years before that as a patrol officer for the U.S. Army Military Police Corps at Fort Stewart. Lynn has lived in Houston County for most of his life.

Ricketson, whose career with the GBI has spanned 28 years, said by telephone, “Right now, I’m speechless. I’m excited about the opportunity to be considered in the final two.”

Ricketson has served in his current position as a GBI special agent in charge since November 2003, according to his résumé. He previously served as GBI Academy director. Ricketson also moved up the ranks in the GBI, having started as a narcotics agent.

He is also a part-time adjunct professor of criminal justice at Macon State College.

Ricketson said he became interested in law enforcement when his mom served as a secretary for investigators at the Spalding County Sheriff’s Office in Griffin while he was growing up. He and his wife previously lived in Perry when first married in 1987.

Ricketson was reluctant to compare himself to Lynn, noting that it’s up to mayor and council to make those comparisons.

Lynn and Ricketson were chosen from a narrowed field of six candidates that city leaders interviewed for the post.

The six had included Perry police Capt. Bill Phelps, who heads the patrol division and was designated on an interim basis to handle some administrative functions of the department, and Capt. Heath Dykes, who is in charge of the criminal investigations division.

Faircloth broke the news to Phelps and Dykes in his office following the called meeting.

He said the men responded “like the consummate professionals that they are.”

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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