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Watkinsville police chief resigns for health reasons

WATKINSVILLE, MAY 8 — The City of Watkinsville today announced that Police Chief Shannon

Brock, under the direction of his physician, has requested to use the balance of his accumulated

leave time to serve as notice of his intent to resign due to a long-term debilitating health issue.

Chief Brock was hired in July 2019 as Watkinsville’s Police Chief and tasked with rebuilding the city’s police department. He has since worked to improve the department in many ways, including a focus on developing operating procedures and court related functions, upgrading

technology including Mobile Data Terminals and cameras in patrol cars, adding officer body-worn cameras, and upgrading both firearms and non-lethal weapons. Chief Brock also oversaw fleet improvements while being fiscally responsible by purchasing slightly used patrol vehicles

along with new vehicles. He also filled long open vacancies with a mix of veteran and new police officers, including the hiring of the first female police officer in city history.

Most recently he established Badges & Benevolence, a Georgia 501(C)3 recognized not for

profit foundation, to raise support and generate funding for community projects.

As chief Brock worked to improve the department’s relationship with the public and worked to establish and restore relationships with other law enforcement agencies and support

organizations.

“Sadly, I am experiencing health issues that I am concerned are interfering with my ability to

continue as Police Chief,” Brock said. “I have submitted my request out of respect for the needs

of the organization in an effort to focus on my long-term health. I’m glad I was able to end my law enforcement career helping this wonderful community rebuild its police department to one

they can be proud of and serves them professionally. But sometimes God has other plans.”

Brock developed and established several youth-focused events, including one of the county’s largest annual Easter Egg Hunts and the popular Cops & Bobbers Fishing Tournament.

He introduced his officers and local children to one another by showing up to school early in the

morning to run the car rider line. The officers helped the children out of their vehicles greeting

them as they arrived at school while playing invigorating music to get kids energized for school

early in the morning. He went one step further at the school: he and his officers would show up

at lunchtime and eat lunch with the kids.

“I wanted to provide meaningful non-enforcement ways for the public – and importantly, our

children – to interact and connect with the officers who are serving them daily,” said Brock. “Building bridges to connect with them and learn to trust one another is something every law enforcement agency should be engaged in.”

Brock established several community events for area adults as well, including Valentines

Day visits to area Senior Centers, food drives for Seniors, and recognition of area veterans

buried at the Watkinsville Cemetery by flag placement twice yearly in conjunction with the local

chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.

“This was a difficult decision for him, and we are all deeply saddened by Chief’s departure due

to his health concerns, but we will be praying for him and his family as they work with his

doctors and other medical professionals to answer his questions and find the best path

forward,” City Manager Sharyn Dickerson said.

Brock came to Watkinsville from the St. Marys, Ga. police department where he held the

position of Patrol Commander and Acting Chief of Police immediately prior to accepting the

Chief position here in Watkinsville. He served St. Marys for nearly 20 years.

“The council and I will always be grateful to Chief Brock,” said Mayor Brian Brodrick. “He has

built one of the finest small city police departments in the state in less than four years, keeping our community safe while navigating a global pandemic and inspiring confidence in our

department during a time when there was a significant national discussion about law

enforcement. We regret to see him leave but understand and respect his decision.”

Deputy Chief Todd Tetterton has been appointed Interim Chief and will remain in the position

until a successor is chosen. Tetterton has been with the city since January 2020 and has more

than 35 years of law enforcement experience, 12 of which are at the command level. Manager

Dickerson stated that the city has not yet decided when it will begin the search for Brock’s

successor.

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