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Newton County hires Royce Turner as new fire chief
royce turner
Photo via the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department website.

NEWTON COUNTY – After several months of searching, Newton County has officially named Royce Turner as its next fire chief.

Turner comes to Newton County from the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department. He spent 26 years with the department and most recently served as deputy chief of emergency medical services (EMS).

Turner officially begins his new role on March 25.

County manager Harold Cooper expressed his excitement about the hire via a Newton County press release.

“I am ecstatic about the hire of chief Royce Turner,” Cooper said. “He has experience and expertise in every aspect of fire services. Chief Turner can share his insight and expertise to empower the men and women of Newton County Fire Services. Chief Turner is committed to serve and he is an expert in the field of fire services. These qualities and other attributes made him the clear choice for the job.”

According to a biography on the Atlanta Fire Rescue Department website, Turner earned a degree in mass communications from Morris Brown College as well as a bachelor’s in science from Columbia Southern University.

A press release also stated that Turner holds a master’s degree in public safety administration. He also holds several designations and certifications from the executive fire officer program, the Georgia Emergency Medical Services (GEMS) leadership program and the executive development institute program.

The role of fire chief was previously filled by Michael Conner, who was terminated in November 2023. Since then the role of fire chief has been filled on a “rotating basis,” per Newton County public information officer Bryan Fazio in January. 

Now as permanent fire chief, Turner will lead a department of 177 employees, including 146 on-shift firefighters.

Cooper commended the professionalism shown by the entire Newton County fire department during its transitional period, while also sharing his enthusiasm toward the future.

“We have a resilient fire department here in Newton County, as evident by the professionalism displayed during the past four months,” Cooper said via a press release. “I am grateful to all our employees, and I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the leadership of chiefs Brad Staff, Kregg Lumpkin and Darryl Mosley during this period of transition. “The diligence, vigilance and dedication of our staff, paired with chief Turner’s leadership, will elevate Newton County Fire Services to new heights.”

This is an ongoing story and The News will update this story as more information is available.