Snellville man takes helm of Oxford PD
By Michelle Floyd
OXFORD - The city of Oxford welcomed a new face to its police department Tuesday.
Veteran law enforcement officer Clark Miller began his term as police chief Tuesday morning, after the Oxford City Council unanimously approved his appointment at Monday night's meeting.
Miller is replacing Roy Eitneier, who served in the position for four years until Dec. 31.
Jerry Roseberry, who was recently elected Oxford's mayor and took office at the first of the year, said Miller was "highly recommended" to the city by his former police chief and supervisors in DeKalb County, where he worked from 1978 to 2004, when he retired.
Miller, a resident of Snellville, said he started in law enforcement in February 1978.
"It was something I always wanted to do. I like working with people," he said.
During his 26 years in DeKalb County, he served in several positions, including youth and sex crimes and property crimes detective, field supervisor, crime analysis specialist and police chief aid, among others.
He said the position in Oxford will be different than any he had in DeKalb County and he's looking forward to that.
"It's different because I've not always been the fellow in charge; I've always been the one given a task by the fellow in charge," he said. "But when I was in DeKalb, I supervised and budgeted and handled citizen complaints, which is what I'll be doing here, too. I'm sure there will be some new things, too."
He said he will work mainly from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, supervising the city's three officers and patrolling the city.
"I expect to spend a good amount of time getting to know the people of Oxford and patrolling," he said. "I want to build a rapport in the community, the college and other law enforcement agencies around here ... as well as meet the needs of the community."
The Oxford City Council unanimously approved an increase in the salary for the police chief to $50,000 annually, which doesn't include any benefits as Miller receives medical insurance from his DeKalb County retirement. Former Oxford Police Chief Eitneier's salary was $47,000 plus benefits.
Roseberry said he doesn't have any "immediate" plans to move to Oxford from Snellville, but maybe in the future.
"I can see moving down here in time," he said.
Miller said he hasn't come up with many immediate goals or changes for the department yet, as Tuesday was his first day on the job, but he said the mayor assigned him the task of getting the police department accredited with the state, something that could take 18 months or longer.
"It's one step at a time for us," he said.
Michelle Floyd can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Newton County resident to oversee Porterdale's officers
By Joel Griffin
COVINGTON - The Porterdale City Council appointed longtime Newton County resident Wayne Digby as its new chief of police Monday night.
Digby, who recently retired as facilities maintenance manager for the city of Covington, said he has been working part-time for the Porterdale Police Department for more than half a year and looks forward to the opportunity that being chief presents.
"The city is growing, and I want to be a part of it and bring it up to today's expectations," he said. "When the opportunity arose, I took it.
Digby said one of his main goals as chief is to bring the credibility and respect to the department it deserves.
"I hold the department at the highest level of respect, and I intend to raise the whole outlook of the city as much as one department can," Digby said.
Digby began his law enforcement career as a private investigator in 1992 before he decided to become an officer at the Covington Police Department in 1995.
Growing up in a law enforcement family, Digby said his career choice was a simple one.
"One of my uncles used to be police chief in Porterdale in the late '50s. One of my brothers was a sheriff and another retired from law enforcement, so I've been around it all my life," he said.
The chief, who lives in Covington with his wife, Alma Jean, spent two years in the U.S. Army and served a tour of duty in Vietnam.
Digby has also worked for BellSouth and has spent time as a commercial pilot and flight instructor.
City Manager Tom Fox, who had been the city's interim police chief, said he wanted to focus his energy on his other duties as city manager. When asked about the new chief's salary, Fox refused to give the Citizen the information, saying he didn't believe it was relevant.
The Citizen has filed an open records request with the city asking for Digby's salary information.
Joel Griffin can be reached at email@example.com.