A man with more than 30 years of experience in law enforcement will take the reins next week as Brooklet’s new police chief.
Clifford “Max” Meyer said he expects to start the new position Tuesday, Jan. 20. After years spent fighting crime in larger cities, he said he looks forward to being in a supervisory and management position as police chief of a small town.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time,” he said. “I’ve had a career full of excitement.”
Having spent a great deal of time in training for law enforcement supervision, he anticipates spending the “rest of my career” in law enforcement management.
“I’m a protector by nature,” he said. “Small towns need it just like a big town.”
Meyer entered the law enforcement field in 1981 and has “been at it ever since,” he said. He has worked with various law enforcement agencies in Texas and Tennessee, including the state drug task force in Tennessee.
In 1999, he moved to Georgia after a law enforcement friend was murdered, and he took his friend’s place with the Villa Rica Police Department as a captain with the Interstate Crime unit.
Then he began work with the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office in a similar capacity, where he remained for 14 years while he continued furthering his education.
He also worked with Homeland Security’s gang unit as a detached Carroll County sheriff’s deputy and spent a year as an agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Because his son lives near Springfield, Meyers was seeking a position closer to his family. When he discovered that Brooklet was seeking a police chief, he took notice.
“Brooklet is a nice town in an area I wanted to be in,” he said.
Meyer was chosen from a field of 17 candidates. Brooklet City Council members formed a search committee after former chief Mike Buchan retired in September. Brooklet police Sgt. Tracy Atkinson has served as interim chief during the selection process.
“With the addition of Chief Meyer, we now have one of the best collective police staffs that the city has had in quite some time,” said Greg Schlierf, the city councilman who oversees the police department. “The staff’s morale, dedication and genuine care for each other as people has made the team that Chief Meyer has inherited — a very strong group. “
Brooklet City Council takes pride in its police department, he said.
“This is no coincidence,” Schlierf said. “The extremely hard work … Atkinson and the rest of the staff have done over the last four months has gotten our department into a really good place.”
Originally from Florida, Meyer lived in Texas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia, traveling with family as his father pursued a career with NASA.
He has been married for 33 years to wife Sharon, who is a teacher. The couple have two adult children and six grandchildren.
Meyer enjoys outdoor activities such as saltwater fishing, camping, and boating, as well as reading, doing research and studying topics of interest.
“We are excited to have Chief Meyer join our staff,” Schlierf said. “His years of experience in police service, his training history, and his instructor capabilities will definitely help our officers progress in experience. This kind of training and experience will only enhance our department as well as their careers in law enforcement. It is our hope that before long, Brooklet will have one of best rural police departments in the state of Georgia.”
Meyer said he looks forward to getting to know the people of Brooklet, adding that he is impressed with the town’s dedication and interest in its law enforcement.
Brooklet residents seem to “have a very active interest compared to most towns that size,” he said.
He anticipates a lengthy and positive relationship with the city, adding that for him, law enforcement is a lifetime commitment.
“I never intend to get out,” he said.
The Brooklet City Council plans an open house and welcoming event at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Brooklet Police Department, Schlierf said. The event, open to the public, will showcase new police department construction as well as introduce Meyer.
Schlierf did not comment on Meyer’s salary, and city staff did not have access to that information Tuesday.
Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-9414.