Offender arrested for vehicle break-ins

Kimberly Cannon | The Valdosta Daily TimesPolice Chief Brian Childress spoke at a press conference regarding vehicle break-ins and said police arrested a teen who is being charged with three counts of felony theft by entering automobile. 

VALDOSTA — Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress retired Wednesday from the City of Valdosta with 18 years of service.

Effective Sept. 1, Childress plans to assume a new role within law enforcement after the first of the year, according to a city release. Childress served as a law-enforcement officer for more than 30 years, with the last 18 years in Valdosta and the last five as the VPD chief of police. 

“I have been provided an opportunity in early 2019 that I can’t walk away from," Childress said. "It is an opportunity that allows me to serve the greater law-enforcement community while still living in Valdosta, which has become my family’s hometown. I don't have the words to say nor to express how much I appreciate each of you. The support you all have provided me, my wife and children, and your police department have been incredible.”

Childress joined VPD as a lieutenant in 2001, was promoted to captain in 2004 and named commander in 2007. 

He was appointed chief in 2013. From then on, his goal has been to keep crime rates low and implement community policing programs within the department, according to city officials. During his time as chief, the department has seen lower crime rates and higher crime clearance rates than compared to the national average, the release stated.

The city stated Childress has helped to maintain the highest standards and continually advancing and improving the department’s capabilities. VPD provides a family-friendly and safe environment for the residents of Valdosta and all who come to our city. 

In 2015, the department attained “Triple Crown Accreditation” by attaining three voluntary accreditation, two for law enforcement and one for crime laboratory. VPD has maintained the status of law enforcement accreditation through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

“We are very fortunate to have had a professional of Chief Childress' caliber leading the men and women of the Valdosta Police Department," said Mark Barber, Valdosta city manager. "His outstanding work and reputation, his loyalty and dedication and his demonstrated ability to work effectively with all citizens has taken VPD to new levels as far as community policing and department standards.

"I have had the pleasure of working with Brian for many years now at the City of Valdosta and his commitment to the men and women of the Valdosta Police Department and the citizens of Valdosta makes him stand out as a leader. Valdosta wishes him the very best.”

Through the efforts of Childress to get the community more involved with VPD, the department has added numerous new community policing programs, which have helped bridge a gap that exists between law enforcement and the community nationwide, the city stated.

The department now has more than four programs just for youth with the goal of building relationships with law enforcement at a young age.

“Brian has moved the Valdosta Police Department to new levels as far as community engagement. He has expected the best of the men and women of the Valdosta Police Department and because of that, the VPD is a highly respected organization state and nationwide,” Mayor John Gayle said. “Brian has done a great job for our city and we wish him well.”

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