After serving the citizens of Newton County for more than seven decades combined, three of Newton County's finest have been promoted: two to the rank of captain, one to major in the Newton County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff Ezell Brown said the positions of captain and major were posted, but it took far more than just meeting the qualifications and applying for the positions for Morris Jones, Mark Mitchell and Keith Crum to receive the rank of major and captains respectively.
The three were required to go through interviews with a panel made up of existing captains from the NCSO and surrounding agencies. In these interviews they were required to prove not on their knowledge and job skills, but panelists also looked at their performance record.
"They are chief among their peers," said Brown Tuesday. "It not only added an extra layer of upper management, but it also created an incentive for those in lower management and it opened up the doors for the captain's position.
It's a future target that recruits all the way up to captains can look forward to and strive to become."
And although Brown could have forgone the panel's recommendations, he chose not to do so.
"I trust those panels and the individuals on them. What good would the process be if I went against their recommendation?"
Mitchell began his law enforcement career at the NCSO 20 years ago, starting as a deputy straight out of the Police Academy. Crum has been with the NCSO nearly 20 years; however, he began his law enforcement career in Oklahoma, moving to Georgia for a different career. Eventually, he decided to get back into law enforcement and started as a deputy in the NCSO.
"Mark and Keith have been great employees; I'm not saying others haven't been, but they fit the mold as far as where we're going and what we intend to do at this time."
The captain's position was through direct appointment by Brown. Jones has been with the NCSO since 1974. Prior to that, he worked law enforcement in Henry County.
"I chose to appoint Jones because during the time he served as captain, I felt he had well exceeded his tenure as captain and there was more of a need for another administrator per se," Brown said. "The order now is myself, (Deputy) Chief [Jerry] Carter and then Major Jones."