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Britt named police chief

WEST POINT — In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the West Point City Council named Donald V. Britt of Griffin, Ga., as the new West Point Chief of Police.

Britt is a 27-year veteran of law enforcement and is excited for the new opportunity.

“There are a lot of good men and women that work in West Point,” Britt said.

While in Griffin, Britt worked as a patrolman, administrator, a resource officer and has been in charge of the Criminal Investigation Division.

His focus areas include community policing, crime reduction, narcotics, criminal investigation and gang activity. He has over 2,700 hours in law enforcement training. This includes school resource officer training, the Georgia Chief of Police executive training course, and the Georgia-FBI law enforcement development seminar. He has intermediate, advanced, supervisory and management certification in police officer training.

Britt also has a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Albany State University, an MPA in justice administration from Columbus State University and has completed a professional management program at the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College at Columbus State.

“That combined experience helped get me here,” he said. “I’ve done a little of everything.”

Griffin’s eventual placement as chief began around the new year, when he heard about the opening in West Point from the Georgia Association of Chiefs.

Over the next few months, he worked his way up the hiring process until he was named the top candidate before being officially appointed this week.

One of the reasons that attracted him to West Point was the size of the city, which is smaller than Griffin.

“Smaller cities let you go out and get to know the people better,” he said.

Britt will take office in early June and has some clear objectives, including keeping the community safe, getting his officers further trained and focusing on the community.

“I want to focus on partnerships,” he said. “Community relations will be a cornerstone. We have to make sure we’re transparent.”

Britt added that being a police chief has been a goal of his since his earliest days and is one of the main reasons he left Griffin.

“I had done everything,” he said. “I was looking for another position when I saw the opening [in West Point]. I believe in community policing, it’s what I did in Griffin. Hopefully that prepares me for the citizens of West Point. I’m here to serve everyone.”

Britt and his wife, Wanda, have been married 22 years. They have three children: Jarvis, Jamira and Courtney.

“They’re happy for me,” he said of his family.

Council Member Sandra Thornton made the motion to hire Britt. It was quickly seconded by Council Member Dr. Joe Downs and approved, as all council members voted in favor.

“I think he will be great,” said Mayor Steve Tramell. “I think the town will love him. He will be here in early June.”

“I’m excited and ready to get to work and meet the people,” Britt said.

West Point has not had a police chief since Tony Bailey left the city late last year for a similar position in the Atlanta-metro area.