Biden taps former DeKalb sheriff, 2 others to be U.S. marshals in Georgia

Former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a U.S. marshal in Georgia.  (Photo: Ernie Suggs / Ernie.Suggs@ajc.com)

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Former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as a U.S. marshal in Georgia. (Photo: Ernie Suggs / Ernie.Suggs@ajc.com)

President Joe Biden is nominating former DeKalb County Sheriff Thomas Brown and police chiefs in Savannah and Perry to serve as U.S. marshals in Georgia’s three federal court districts

President Joe Biden has nominated a former DeKalb County sheriff and police chiefs in Savannah and Perry to serve as U.S. marshals in Georgia’s three federal court districts.

Each of the nominees announced Thursday must be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before taking their post. The men would oversee operations of the U.S. Marshals Service in their districts, including protecting courts, transporting prisoners, pursuing fugitives and serving federal arrest warrants.

Thomas Brown, who was DeKalb sheriff from 2001 to 2014, would be the marshal for the Northern District, which includes 46 counties centered on Atlanta but also includes courthouses in Rome, Gainesville and Newnan.

Brown has owned businesses including a bail bonding agency since stepping down as sheriff. Before being elected sheriff, Brown served as DeKalb County’s public safety director and fire chief.

Brown stepped down as sheriff in 2014 to launch a congressional bid, though he lost that contest to incumbent Rep. Hank Johnson.

Since then, Brown has consulted for the health care company Wellpath, helping connect them with local sheriff’s offices, including in Cobb, Cherokee and Rockdale, he said in a 2020 interview with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He has also helped evaluate the police department for the city of Covington, which he similarly did for Stone Mountain.

ExploreFrom 2020: Former DeKalb sheriff will oversee Stone Mountain’s small police department

Savannah Police Chief Roy Minter Jr., who has led that department since 2018, would be the marshal for the Southern District of Georgia. It includes 43 counties with courthouses in Savannah, Augusta, Brunswick, Dublin, Statesboro and Waycross.

Mayor Van Johnson told the Savannah Morning News that Minter will remain police chief until he is confirmed, which could take months. Minter was previously police chief in Peoria, Arizona, and Denton, Texas. He earlier worked in Houston and Aurora, Colorado.

ExploreFrom our news partner: Biden taps Savannah's Minter for U.S. Marshals Service

Minter’s nomination comes amid an increase in shootings and other violent crimes in Savannah. A survey of more than 250 Savannah officers the police department conducted last fall showed many were dissatisfied with its leadership and felt their personal safety was not a priority.

Perry Police Chief Steve Lynn would be the marshal for the Middle District of Georgia. It includes 70 counties with courthouses in Macon, Columbus, Athens, Albany and Valdosta.

Lynn has been chief in Perry since 2013. He was an investigator for the Houston County District Attorney from 2007 to 2013. Before that, he served as a police officer and commander in Warner Robins Police Department from 1981 to 2007.

Biden so far has named a U.S. attorney in only one of the three districts. Ryan Buchanan has been confirmed in the Northern District.

Reporting from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution contributed to this Associated Press article.