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Hogansville removes interim tag from Sheppard, makes him the city’s new police chief

Jeff Sheppard found out just before everyone else that he was going to be officially named Hogansville’s new police chief.

“He was today years-old when he found that out,” said Hogansville City Manager Jonathan Lynn after revealing the decision during Monday’s Hogansville City Council meeting .

“We had a lot of qualified candidates, but Jeff was head and shoulders above them.”

Sheppard thanked the council for their decision and vowed to continue his work within the department.

“Thank you everybody for your confidence in me, especially over the last six months,” Sheppard said. “…I won’t let you down. We will continue to make [Hogansville Police Department] the best police department in this area.”

Lynn concluded that Sheppard was the right candidate after the overhaul he and his staff put forward in the Hogansville Police Department during the last several months.

“The job he has done in the last seven months with all that has been going on with the police department shows that he was definitely the right person at the right time for that job,” Lynn said.

About 10 candidates interviewed for the position, Lynn said.

Sheppard was named interim chief in November after Chief Brian Harr retired, one officer resigned and a third was fired following a third-party investigation into the police department.

By December, Sheppard put forward plans to actively change the inner workings of the Hogansville Police Department, which included shift structure changes between command staff and officers, changing the department’s background policy for the hiring process and communicating more actively with the community at large.

Hogansville Mayor Bill Stankiewicz commented Tuesday that Sheppard stepped up to the plate over the past six months and “performed admirably under trying circumstances.”

As congratulations were given out to Sheppard, Lynn added that there was still more work to be done but that Hogansville had the right man for the job.

“We look forward to seeing where we go from here,” Lynn said. “I told Jeff it already gets harder from here.”