More than 150 well-wishers gathered at the Bibb County Courthouse Thursday afternoon to watch Chief Deputy David Davis be sworn in as Bibb Countys new sheriff.
Davis wont officially take charge of the department until the new year, after Sheriff Jerry Modena retires.
Davis, 54, will also be the chief law enforcement officer when Macon and Bibb County governments merge in January 2014.
I want all of us to work together to make this brand-new agency the shining star of the state, Davis told those gathered.
He then spoke directly to the dozens of police officers and deputies on hand.
My vision for our new agency, because I know many of you are here because you just dont know what I see for our future, my vision is to first communicate with all of you like Ive always done, Davis said.
Nothing will be decided under the cover of night, and no ideas of yours will go ignored. Were in this together. ... Macon P.D. folks, youre not gonna be unwanted intruders into the Bibb County Sheriffs office. And, Bibb deputies, youre not gonna be bossing the M.P.D. folks around.
That last remark drew laughs from the standing-room-only gathering.
Were starting fresh, he continued, and were starting from scratch. That means that everybody gets a fair shake. ... No one will face retribution and no one will get put where they dont belong. ... Were gonna be a powerful force when were combined.
After being sworn in by Bibb County Probate Court Judge Bill Self, Davis, who has worked at the department for more than three decades, said, This is a lifelong dream that Im here before you with, and Ive learned that you need to be careful and watch what you dream for. It might come true. We have a great task ahead of us.
One of the biggest rounds of applause at the gathering went to Modena, who will leave office at the end of the year.