Marietta’s top cop announces retirement after 15 years

Credit: Marietta Police Department

Credit: Marietta Police Department

Police Chief Dan Flynn will step down at end of January

Marietta’s police chief will step down at the end of January, culminating a nearly 50-year law enforcement career, department officials announced Friday.

Dan Flynn has been at the helm of the city’s police force since he was appointed chief in January 2007. He told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution in an email Friday that it seemed like the appropriate time for retirement.

“I am in good health and I have nothing but affection for everyone in Marietta, including city government,” said Flynn, who is 70. “Crime is very low in Marietta; and the Marietta Police Department is in great shape in terms of police officer staffing and community outreach. I have had a blessed career in this wonderful city, but somehow you just know when it is time to go.”

According to a police spokesperson, Marietta City Manager Bill Bruton tapped Deputy Chief Marty Ferrell as interim chief. He will begin leading the department Feb. 1 upon Flynn’s departure.

Ferrell has been a Marietta police officer for nearly 32 years. Mayor Steve “Thunder” Tumlin said he has no doubt that he will “pick up right where Chief Flynn left off.”

“I can tell you as a mayor how important a strong and fair police chief is,” Tumlin said. “That’s what we’ve had in Chief Flynn.”

Flynn began his long career with the Miami-Dade Police Department in 1973 and spent 27 years with that agency, retiring as a major in 2000.

He remained in Miami for a short while and started a successful consulting firm, but relocated to Georgia later in the year and reignited his career when he became Savannah’s police chief.

That’s where Flynn stayed until he moved to metro Atlanta in 2007. Flynn was active in several law enforcement organizations throughout the state and was inducted into the International Evidence-Based Policing Hall of Fame. The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police twice named Flynn chief of the year (2011, 2018).

“I just liked his philosophy,” Tumlin said. “His motto was policing with a vision. He reached out to the community. And the way he got along with his fellow officers was through dignity, respect and encouragement. He was a policeman’s policeman. He didn’t wear a suit, he proudly wore the blue.”

Tumlin said the city will consider state and national candidates before selecting Flynn’s permanent replacement. He expects that process to take several months, but the mayor hoped Ferrell submits an application.

As for Flynn, he plans to “decompress” the first few months of his retirement, spending more time with family before he decides what to do with the next chapter of his life.

“After 48 years of getting up every day, usually putting on a uniform and serving the public, it feels a bit weird,” he said. “I have never liked goodbyes and they are especially hard here in Marietta. Nevertheless, I take comfort in the fact that the department is in good, competent, caring leadership hands, as is the city government.

“I feel like I am leaving Marietta a better place than I found it and that gives me a good sense of accomplishment,” Flynn added.