COVINGTON, Ga. – Covington Police Chief Stacey Cotton brought 10 of his officers to the Covington City Council meeting to provide special recognition to recent promotions made within the Covington Police Department.
“A few years ago after I became police chief, I decided that anytime we hire a new police officer one of the most important part of their career is the beginning of the career and that’s the reason we bring police officers here in a public forum, in front of the citizens of Covington and in front of the elected officials to allow them to take an oath of office to begin their career,” he said.
“Here recently, I’ve come to realize probably the second most important part of someone’s career is when they’re promoted in the ranks, so I wanted to start a new tradition tonight.”
The Covington News reported the promotions last month. Capt. Philip Bradford was promoted to assistant chief, filling an opening that was created with the retirement of Almond Turner. Lts. Wendell Wagstaff and Mike Bruno were promoted to captain, succeeding Bradford and recently retired Craig Treadwell.
Sgts. Brent Fuesting, Chris Smith and Gene Nugui were promoted to lieutenant and Officers Allan Seebaran, Hayward DeRouen Daniel Digby and Star Smith were promoted to sergeant.
"Sergeants are the first line of supervisors," Cotton said. "They work in patrol with the officers every day and they are the first line of management for our department."
Cotton said the next level is lieutenant.
"Lieutenant are what we call 'good level' supervisors," he said. "They have two hats to wear. They have one hand in operations - which is the day-to-day operations - and they also have to have a hand in the strategic running of the department. So they have to be able to wear both hats and understand the big picture and where we're going with the department. We rely heavily on the lieutenants"
The position of captain heads each division of the department. Wagstaff will lead the patrol division and Bruno will lead the support services division.
"They are the ones who make sure that all operations are run the way they're supposed to," Cotton said.
The assistant chief position is considered the second-in-command.
"This is the person I have to trust to run the department when I'm not available or I'm not able to be there," he said.