JONESBORO — Jonesboro has a new acting police chief after Chief Clifford Kelker quietly resigned Nov. 14.
On Nov. 27, a Facebook post from the city of Jonesboro showed employees welcoming “Chief (Wilfred) Norwood” to the department. Norwood retired at the rank of major after 31 years with the Clayton County Police Department Nov. 15, according to other Facebook posts.
City Manager Ricky Clark told the News the separation was “amicable” and was “due to the long drive back and forth from (Kelker’s) Marietta home to Jonesboro.”
It’s not clear why the city waited nearly two weeks before telling Jonesboro citizens via a social media post that their top law enforcement officer had been replaced. However, Clark said of Norwood, “We will officially announce and introduce him at our December work session.” That work session was scheduled for Dec. 2.
Kelker, who had been on the job for a little over a year, advocated for community policing and was instrumental in laying the groundwork for a countywide Police Athletic League.
Kelker told the News his family did not want to move. He told the News he has “reached out to other agencies about taking over PAL.”
Norwood, who lives in Jonesboro, will serve as acting chief until a formal search gets underway, Clark said. Norwood helped solve the 2007 Donald Ray Skinner murder and received the Medal of Valor for his actions during a 2005 police chase and shootout. Norwood holds a master of science degree from St. Leo University.
“Chief Norwood and his wife have devoted their entire life to Jonesboro,” Clark said.