SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Gov. Brian Kemp appointed Social Circle police Chief Tyrone Oliver to lead the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.
Oliver was sworn in for the position Thursday afternoon and has left the Social Circle Police Department, which he has led since 2016.
City Manager Adele Schirmer planned to name an interim chief by the end of the day Friday.
“It’s been a transition for the last week,” Oliver told The Covington News in a telephone interview after taking the oath.
“Social Circle’s my baby, my home, and I love everybody there.”
As head of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Oliver will lead the state’s agency that serves offenders aged 21 and younger.
Oliver succeeds Avery Niles, who was removed after reportedly lying about his education under oath in a deposition.
“Police Chief Tyrone Oliver has long been a pillar of the Newton County community, both as a career law enforcement official and a strong leader in numerous organizations,” Kemp said in a statement.
“As commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, I know that Tyrone will lead with integrity to ensure that Georgians in his care have the right tools to succeed and improve their lives for the better.”
Oliver joined the Newton County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1999, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant and serving in investigations and as a public information officer. He joined the Brookhaven Police Department when the DeKalb County city was formed in 2013 and was promoted there too, to the rank of lieutenant and serving as the assistant commander of internal affairs and criminal investigations
He became the chief of police in Social Circle on Jan. 8, 2016, and in November 2018 was designated as deputy city manager.
“Chief Oliver has done an outstanding job at Social Circle, and leaves us with a professional, well-trained and responsive community-oriented department,” Schirmer said.
“There is a culture now of excellence and collaboration and involvement and connection with our citizenry and our school system.”
Oliver improved relations between the Police Department and citizens during his time in Social Circle. He regularly had events such as Coffee With a Cop to allow citizens to interact with officers, and instituted a citizens’ police academy.
The Social Circle Police Department will be staffing local schools with school resource officers in the upcoming year.
“Chief Oliver is a unique and highly skilled individual with unshakable integrity, and he demands that same integrity from those he leads,” Schirmer said. “He is approachable, extremely perceptive and a truly caring person who is also firm, methodical and effective in achieving goals.”
Mayor Hal Dally said Oliver will be missed, but added he understands the chief’s decision.
“When the governor calls, you go,” Dally said.
“He’s been an excellent chief, brought the community back together, has the respect of the entire community.
“It’s our loss but the governor’s gain.”
Oliver is a member of the Social Circle Rotary Club and a board member for Student Success Alliance, A Child’s Voice Child Advocacy Center, Advantage Behavioral Health Systems and the Leadership Walton Alumni Association.