By Ed Brock
The city of Morrow held a reception to welcome its new police chief, though he is a familiar face in the community.
Chief Charlie Sewell has been with the department for 32 years, beginning his career there as a reserve officer. On June 22 the Morrow City Council officially appointed him to take the place of former Chief Kenny Smith who left the city in February to become the city manager in Griffin.
Thursday evening about 100 people turned out for a reception at the Morrow Visitor's Center to honor Sewell. Sewell's father Forrest Sewell drove in from Equality, Ala. to attend.
"It was overwhelming," Sewell said.
The city received 78 applications for the job and picked eight of those applications for interviews, Morrow City Manager John Lampl said. They brought in candidates from all around the country.
"There was definitely some real talent," Lampl said. "Charlie had prepared himself well with his master's degree. He's been here a long time and we're proud of him."
Sewell received his masters in public administration from Columbus State University earlier this year. He graduated from the same school with a bachelor of science in criminal justice in 2002.
Since 1984 Sewell has attended numerous courses related to his field. They include a course on Law Enforcement Management and the Executive Development Program at the Georgia Police Academy, attending the 178th session of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy at the University of Virginia, receiving an associate's degree from the Georgia Military College and graduating the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Command College.
Sewell also has certification as a public manager with the Georgia State Merit System and in management and as an instructor with the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council. He is also an adjunct faculty member at Clayton College & State University and a member of the Clayton County Securus House Battered Women's Shelter board of trustees and the All Hazards Council.
Morrow Mayor Jim Millirons was pleased with the choice of Sewell as police chief.
"Charlie was obviously the right person for the job," Millirons said. "He has the experience, he has the education. He knows everybody in the community."
Millirons pointed out that the council voted unanimously to appoint Sewell.
"We all felt the same way," Millirons said.
He wants Sewell to be a good leader who generates confidence in his officers, Millirons said.
"If he does that he'll have a good department," Millirons said.
Sewell said he has received a lot of support from his fellow employees and the citizens.
"Morrow is a wonderful city with a great future. I am excited to be a part of that future," Sewell said. "My job will be easier because of the professional men and women of the Morrow Police Department. I have big shoes to fill and I appreciate the confidence shown to me by the mayor and city council."