Lanett’s new police chief sworn in

Published 9:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2023

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Denise McCain officially became the second female police chief of Lanett on Thursday. After a community meet and greet at the Jane K. Farrar Center, Mayor Jamie Heard oversaw the swearing-in before a packed room. 

“We’re excited to have her here,” said City Clerk Deborah Gilbert.

McCain has been a detective for many years. After many years of fine police work, she was honored with the title. 

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“It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s also an honor to serve the community of Lanett. I promise to uphold this city and these officers to the highest integrity and ethical values,” McCain said at the ceremony. “We’re going to get a bunch of training, we’re going to get a lot of updates, and we’re going to go into the 20th century and get a bunch of new officers hopefully hired soon.”

Many of her coworkers and officers from neighboring departments were present for the ceremony.

“Denise is a fine investigator and a fine administrator,” said Cpt. Patrick McCullough. “She’s really going to challenge everybody to better themselves. She’s not a procrastinator. If she says she’s going to do it, it gets done.”

McCain has worked hard for the city in and out of the uniform. McCain donates her free time to volunteering with the Chattahoochee Fuller Center and the Lanett City School System. She has helped paint houses for the Fuller Center. She also helps coach the soccer team.

“It’s not about me. It’s about the kids,” McCain said.

The new chief has many plans for the police department from getting new equipment to hiring more officers.

“We’re such a small department,” McCain said. “We don’t have the funding that bigger departments have. We have to rely on grants.”

McCain hopes to encourage the whole police department to engage in the community in positive ways.

“We want to push for our officers to have more interaction with the kids in the community,” McCain said. “It’s not just about protecting. We protect and serve.”

One officer has already taken the initiative. Officer Reeves recently visited Fig Tree Learning and Growing Center and read to the children for National Read Across America Day.

“I think it’s really important for us to reach out to kids, for one because in today’s society with everything that goes on in the world, you know, kids are raised not to like the police,” Reeves said. “So reaching out to them, showing them ‘Hey, we’re human, too. We’re not as bad as things like social media and stuff like that will make us out to be.’ I think it’s very important.”