Marietta hires department veteran Martin Ferrell as police chief

Martin ‘Marty’ Ferrell, a 32-year veteran of the Marietta Police Department, was confirmed as the new police chief by city council Wednesday evening.

Ferrell had been serving as interim chief since the retirement of Chief Dan Flynn earlier this year.

“We already have a really strong relationship with our community, but I also think we can strengthen that relationship by being in the community, being a part of the community, working together,” Chief Ferrell told Fresh Take Georgia following the vote. “Most importantly, I want to make sure that we can keep our crime down … low crime rate, high quality of life.”

Credit: Ambria Burton/Fresh Take Georgia

Credit: Ambria Burton/Fresh Take Georgia

Ferrell has worked across a number of divisions over his decades at the department, including as part of the narcotics task force and commander of the special weapons and tactics team. In addition to strengthening community-police relations, Ferrell said he would like to prioritize professional development for his officers.

According to City Manager Bill Bruton, Ferrell was one of six finalists from a nationwide search.

The police department has a budget of more than $19 million, accounting for 29 percent of the city’s general fund budget. Lindsey Wiles, a spokesperson for the City of Marietta, said Ferrell’s starting salary will be $140,000. Chief Flynn was paid $151,000 a year at the time of his retirement.

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Community-police relations have come under scrutiny in recent years. In 2020, protesters gathered at Marietta Square to decry the murder of Georgia Floyd and call for police accountability nationally and locally.

Cobb County NAACP President Jeriene Bonner Grimes commended the Marietta Police Department for recent improvements diversifying its force.

“They certainly have gotten better, so I’m very hopeful to the future,” Bonner Grimes said. She had no specific comment on Ferrell as leader of the department.

The vote to confirm Ferrell was unanimous.

“I know what he stands for and what he supports for the city: community, policing, mental health — all of the things that I think are important,” said Council member Cheryl Richardson. “I couldn’t imagine anyone better.”


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