Canton promotes from within for new police chief

Interim chief since September, Stephen Merrifield has been named the new police chief of the Canton Police Department. CITY OF CANTON via Facebook
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Interim chief since September, Stephen Merrifield has been named the new police chief of the Canton Police Department. CITY OF CANTON via Facebook

Stephen Merrifield, a 36-year law enforcement veteran, has been named the new police chief of the Canton Police Department.

City Manager Billy Peppers announced Merrifield’s appointment to succeed former Chief Mark J. Mitchell, who left the department to become chief of staff with the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice. Merrifield has served as interim police chief since September.

Merrifield has been Canton’s deputy chief for the past five years. Reared in Forest Park, he served four years as a U.S. Army Ranger and entered law enforcement in 1984 with the Cobb County Police Department. He commanded a S.W.A.T. team and criminal investigations unit and created Cobb’s first gang unit, among other duties.

Merrifield has a bachelor’s in business management from Kennesaw State University and a master’s in public safety administration from Columbus State University.

Canton will hold a public reception for the new chief and his family beginning at 5 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, in the City Hall auditorium. Information: https://bit.ly/38G4Ud5