Valdosta Police Chief Brian Childress will retire from the City of Valdosta, effective September 1 after serving as a law enforcement officer for more than 30 years, with the last 18 years here in Valdosta and the last 5 as the VPD Chief of Police. Chief Childress plans to assume a new role within law enforcement after the first of the year.
“I have been provided an opportunity in early 2019 that I can’t walk away from. 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,” said Chief Childress “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.”
Chief Childress joined the Valdosta Police Department as a lieutenant in 2001, was promoted to captain in 2004 and named commander in 2007. He was appointed as the Chief of Police in 2013, and from then on his goal has been to keep crime rates low and implement community policing programs within the department. Under Childress’s leadership, the Valdosta Police Department has seen lower crime rates and higher crime clearance rates than compared to the national average.
Among a long list of accomplishments, Chief 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 citizens of Valdosta and all who come to our city. In 2015, the department attained “Triple Crown Accreditation” by attaining three voluntary accreditations, 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 (CALEA). The Valdosta Regional Crime Lab is also accredited under CALEA as well.
“We are very fortunate to have had a professional of Chief Childress' caliber leading the men and women of the Valdosta Police Department. 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,” said Mark Barber, Valdosta City Manager. “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 Chief Childress to get the community more involved with VPD, the department has added numerous new community policing programs which have helped bridge a gap which exists between law enforcement and the community nationwide. 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,” said Mayor John Gayle. “Brian has done a great job for our city and we wish him well.”