CONYERS -- One of the highest ranking officers with the Conyers Police Department will take on the duties of chief deputy for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office on Jan. 1.
Sheriff-elect Eric Levett announced last week his selection of Major Scott Freeman to serve in the No. 2 position at the Sheriff's Office.
One of the goals outlined in Levett's campaign was to add the position of chief deputy to the Sheriff's Office in order to help in managing day-to-day operations, which would allow the sheriff to be more accessible to employees, citizens and business owners in the county.
Freeman, who has been with the Police Department for 22 years, said he is excited about the opportunity.
"It really is an understatement for me to say I'm excited about this opportunity," said Freeman, who leaves the CPD on Dec. 5. "I really can't put into words how excited I am and how aware I am about the challenges ahead."
Freeman said he will join the Sheriff's Office with "two primary marching orders."
"Eric and I have talked quite extensively about his expectation for his chief deputy selection, and he really wants me to have two priorities coming in the door," said Freeman. "That's to ensure that the deputies -- the jailers and the road deputies -- have both the equipment and the safety gear that they need out there and in the jail.
"And the over arching issue is to start addressing crime within the county."
Freeman said he believes his connections with the Police Department will serve to build bridges between the two departments and improve public safety overall.
"I really believe that I will be leaving the city on extremely good terms," said Freeman. "I am certainly not cutting any ties whatsoever with the city. I have absolutely nothing but good things to say about Chief (Gene) Wilson and the department he has created since assuming the helm at the chief's position."
Freeman said he and Levett have discussed ways in which the two departments can work more closely together, perhaps through development of a joint SWAT team and sharing some resources -- such as the RCSO firing range -- that are not currently available to the CPD.
"We really have public safety for the entire county as a mission," said Freeman.
Freeman was selected for the chief deputy position based on his "impeccable reputation of being fair, ethical and having exceptional leadership qualities," according to a press release from Levett. Freeman's reputation for being tough on crime is well known, according to Levett, and his leadership qualities will help strengthen the leadership at the RCSO.
Freeman said he was drawn to a career in law enforcement beginning at a young age. As a third-grader he recalled writing a paper about wanting to be a police officer when he grew up.
He joined the Explorers with the CPD in high school and decided then that he wanted to be an officer with the CPD.
Freeman went to work at the CPD as a 911 dispatcher following graduation from Rockdale County High School. He served in numerous positions with the department over the past two decades, including patrol supervisor, communications manager, patrol commander, and deputy director of information technology. He currently holds the rank of major and oversees daily operations for all police administrative support and emergency services. He was also in charge of the department's recent successful bids to earn state certification and CALEA accreditation.
His educational achievements include an associate's degree in criminal justice, a bachelor's degree in applied science in organization leadership, a graduate certificate in criminal justice education, a master's degree in public policy and administration, and a Ph.D in public policy and administration.
Freeman is a 2012 graduate of the FBI National Academy. He also holds numerous professional certifications and memberships and has earned more than 20 police commendations throughout his career.