SOCIAL CIRCLE, Ga. — Athens-Clarke County police Capt. Will Brinkley will lead the Social Circle Police Department starting next month.

Brinkley was a top candidate when Social Circle chose Jeff Fuesting for the position last year. He has resigned, effective Sunday, to take a job in the private sector.

City Manager Adele Schirmer said Brinkley was a top candidate when the position came open in 2019, upon Tyrone Oliver’s appointment as the state commissioner of juvenile justice.

She said Brinkley was still interested when approached this week. He’ll begin the job May 4.

Schirmer said Brinkley’s references described him as “a genuine, transparent person of integrity who respects people and achieves success by building long-term positive relationships” through his career.

“He has led officers and shift supervisors through their many stages of training, being attentive to their questions while putting the needs of the citizens as a top priority,” she said.

Brinkley began his law enforcement career in 1989 with the Madison Police Department. He has spent 25 years with Athens-Clarke County, rising from the ranks from officer to captain.

He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute with a Bachelor of Science in criminal justice. SPI is a division of the University of Louisville College of Arts and Sciences criminal justice department.

Schirmer called Brinkley a “strong proponent and practitioner of community-oriented policing,” with experience in patrol, special operations and school resource officer work.

The Athens-Clarke department has recognized Brinkley for Meritorious Community Service and Leadership Ability, for improving the communication between public housing and police, community policing and facilitating projects that decreased criminal activity and enhanced the quality of life in the community.

“Will Brinkley believes in leading by example, and putting service before self,” Schirmer said.

She said the current social distancing requirements likely will preclude any type of community meet-and-greet for Brinkley but said a Facebook Live program is planned for May 4.

Individual appointments, for people to meet the new chief, may be scheduled for after May 4 by contacting the Police Department.

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