Investigator for Houston County District Attorney’s office is new Perry police chief

bpurser@macon.comDecember 21, 2012 

PERRY -- Steve Lynn, an investigator for the Houston County District Attorney’s Office, was tapped as Perry’s new police chief.

City Council members voted unanimously Friday to offer the police chief’s position to Lynn at a called meeting, and Lynn accepted when Mayor Jimmy Faircloth formally offered him the job by telephone afterward.

“I think it’s a great next step ... to what’s already been a great career,” Lynn, 57, told the Telegraph by telephone.

Lynn’s career has spanned 33 years in public safety.

The choice came down to Lynn and J.T. Ricketson, a GBI special agent in charge of the Middle Georgia Regional Drug Enforcement Office in Milledgeville.

“All I can say is I’m very disappointed,” Ricketson said by telephone. “I wish Steve Lynn the best of luck.”

Faircloth noted that council members did not attempt to compare and contrast the candidates but looked at each one individually to determine the “best fit” for Perry.

All of the six candidates interviewed by council before the field was narrowed to two were qualified for the job -- including two captains already on the police force, Faircloth said.

The six came from eight candidates recommended by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, which conducted the candidate search for the city. In all, 27 had applied for the post, according to City Manager Lee Gilmour.

Lynn scored high on tests administered by the association and comes to Perry with a wealth of experience, Faircloth said.

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.

Lynn lauded the professionalism of the job search. He said he expects he’ll start his new job becoming acclimated and evaluating what’s in place and getting to know everybody. He said he expects to build on what former Public Safety Director George Potter began.

When Lynn will start depends on how much time he’ll need to wrap things up at his present job, Faircloth said. Lynn expects he’ll start sometime in January.

Lynn’s appointment marks the first time city leaders have had to fill the post in 16 years. The opening was created by the June retirement of Potter. The mayor and council decided to dissolve that position and bring back the post of police chief. Joel Gray, who was serving as deputy fire chief under Potter, was promoted to fire chief. Potter served six years as the public safety director and the previous 10 years as police chief.

The salary range for the police chief post is $65,800 to $93,900, which is the range for other cities the size of Perry, according to City Manager Lee Gilmour. What Lynn’s salary and other benefits will be is expected to be hammered out between him and the city manager, Faircloth said.

The chief’s job automatically includes a new detective-type style vehicle, a clothing allowance and various incentives such as life and health insurance and retirement benefits, Faircloth said.

Also at the called meeting, the first-reading for setting of the speed limit at 35 miles per hour for the Ball Street extension was held. No action was required and that was the only other agenda item.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.

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