The search for Canton Police Department’s assistant police chief has ended after the city’s top cop announced on Monday morning the hiring of Mark Mitchell, 41. Mitchell, who joins the department with many years of experience, will start July 22 and is expected to be sworn in July 25 at 1 p.m.
“I am truly honored and humbled to have been chosen for this position,” he said. “I am excited and look forward to working closely with all of the fine men and women of this agency.”
Mitchell said he hopes to continue to build an organization Canton residents are proud of and trust. His goal is for citizens to fully recognize that Canton Police is “dedicated and committed to fulfilling the department’s mission of improving the quality of life for the people of Canton.”
Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant said Mitchell brings the leadership traits and qualities required for the assistance chief position.
“Mitchell has constantly displayed a high level of personal integrity and demonstrated an exceptional mastery of professional skills,” Merchant said. “He has a calm and even temperament and is known for his high level of energy and enthusiasm for the job.”
Mitchell, who will make $74,000 a year as the assistance police chief, was hired to fill a vacancy in the department created when the former assistant chief, Todd VandeZande, was fired last August.
Mitchell’s career in law enforcement started in 1992 as a patrol deputy with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. He was 21. Four years later, he earned the rank of sergeant — a position that required him to supervise deputies in patrol, the D.A.R.E. program, court security and criminal investigations.
In 2005, Mitchell was promoted to lieutenant in patrol, and a year later, he earned the rank of 1st lieutenant executive officer as the assistant uniform division commander. By 2011, Mitchell was transferred to assume the role of commander of the criminal investigation division, and the following year, earned the rank of captain over the uniform division.
In addition to his supervising roles, Mitchell also served as the Newton County Sheriff’s Office public information officer for 16 years and was a member for the agency’s SWAT team, serving the last six years as the unit’s commander.
Mitchell earned his Master’s Degree in criminal justice from Troy University and graduated from the 207th session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Va.