WPD Officers


WPD CHIEF OF POLICE

Chief Tommy Cox Chief of Police

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After graduating from Ware County High School in 1988, Chief Tommy Cox served in the United States Marine Corps from 1988 until 1992 and is a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. After returning home, he began his law enforcement career as a patrolman for the Waycross Police Department in March 1994. Early in his career he was assigned as a K9 handler and was partnered with canine “Rando” for 7 years.

He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2004 where he commanded a Shift of Uniform Patrol Officers. He was later promoted to Lieutenant in 2006 where he supervised the Uniform Patrol Unit. In May of 2013, he was promoted to Captain and served as the Uniform Patrol Section Commander for the department.

Additionally, he was appointed to the Waycross Police Department’s S.W.A.T. Team in 1998 where he served in various positions on the team until he was appointed as the S.W.A.T. Team Leader in 2004. In 2007 he was appointed as the SWAT Team Commander.

Chief Cox has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in management. He is also a graduate of the Columbus State University Law Enforcement Command College, Class #135-A and a graduate of the FBI National Academy, Class #257. He also serves the department as a General Training Instructor and holds advanced certifications as a Defensive Tactics Instructor, Firearms Instructor and S.W.A.T. Instructor. Before appointment to Chief in August 2019, he served as the Criminal Investigations Section Commander.



 

 

WPD MAJORS

Chris Tatum Major

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Major Chris Tatum is a 30 year veteran of Law Enforcement, after graduating from Ware County Senior High in 1982, Tatum began his career in law enforcement with the Ware County Sheriff’s Department in October 1983 as a radio operator for Sheriff Herbert Bond. He was promoted to Deputy Sheriff in March 1985 and assumed patrol duties for the Ware County Sheriff’s Department.

He graduated P.O.S.T. Basic Mandate Training in February 1986 at the Coastal Georgia Police Academy in Brunswick Georgia, and in March 1986 he began working with the Waycross Police Department as a Uniformed Patrol Officer.

  • On December 19, 1997, He was promoted to Uniform Patrol Sergeant and supervised a shift on Uniform Patrol Officers.
  • On October 31, 2001Tatum was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and assigned as the Unit Commander of the Criminal Investigations Unit.
  • March 21, 2003, Lt. Tatum graduated from the 212th session of the F.B.I. National Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
  • In June 2003, he was reassigned to Uniform Patrol and charged with the duties of Uniform Patrol Unit Commander.
  • Tatum was promoted to the rank of Captain on December 27, 2006, and assigned as the Field Operations Commander for the Waycross Police Department.
  • On July 11, 2012, Tatum was promoted to his current rank of Major. His duties still serve as Field Operations Commander and as Assistant Chief for the department.
  • Since his appointment to the Department’s S.W.A.T. Team in 1987, he has held every position on the team ranging from Entry Officer to Chemical Weapons Specialist and the Team’s Police Counter Sniper. He was promoted to the SWAT Team Leader position and later to SWAT Team Commander. The SWAT Team serves as Area 8’s All Hazards Council Chemical, Biological, Radioactive, Nuclear, and Explosive (C.B.R.N.E.) Team

Awards: During his Law Enforcement career Capt. Tatum has been a recipient of several distinguished awards from both the department and community. He has received

  • 2-“Medal of Valor” Awards from the Waycross P. D.
  • 1-‘Medal of Valor’ Award from the Ware County Fire Department
  • Waycross Police Department’s “Police Commendation” Award
  • Waycross Police Department’s “Community Service” Award
  • Waycross Police Department’s “Life Saving” Award
  • He is the recipient of the Waycross -Ware County Exchange Club’s “Officer of the Year” Award for 1987

 



 

 

WPD CAPTAINS

Danny Hampton Captain

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Law Enforcement Career Captain Danny Hampton began his career with the Waycross Police Department as a police officer in May of 1994. He was appointed as a Field Training Officer in 1996 and was responsible for training new officers for duty. He also attended specialized training in Accident Investigation and was assigned as an accident investigator for traffic accidents involving serious injuries and fatalities. He was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in October of 2001. He acted as a Watch Commander for the department for five years. He supervised a shift of police officers and ensured each officer performed their assigned duties. As a Sergeant, he was assigned as the representative for the department with the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety. While acting as a police officer and Sergeant he was awarded many Field Performance Awards including two Commendations, Community Service Awards, an Educational Achievement Award, and the Gold Star which represents the Chief’s award.

Captain Hampton was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in August of 2006 and assigned to the Administrative Services Section. At this time he was responsible for administrative duties including supervising the Support Services Unit, Georgia Crime Information Center Operations, Record Keeping, and was assigned as the Court Services Commander for Municipal Court. He was also appointed as the Accreditation Manager for the Department through the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) which is a national organization for elite Law Enforcement Agencies, and as the State Certification Manager through the Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition for the state of Georgia.

In May of 2013, he was promoted to the rank of Captain where he serves in his current position as the Administrative Services Section Commander. Captain Hampton now oversees all of the administrative operations of the department including the Personnel and Training Unit, and the Support Services Unit. He is also responsible for the Evidence and Property Storage for the department, and he has been assigned as the Internal Affairs Officer for the department.

Education and Training Captain Hampton has over 2300 hours of police training including completion of the Professional Management Program and the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College through Columbus State University. He also has his Managerial Certification through the Police Officer Standards and Training Council. Captain Hampton obtained his Associate Degree in Criminal Justice through Waycross College in 1994. He obtained his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Columbus State University in 2008 and is currently working toward obtaining a Master’s Degree.


Benji Hersey Captain

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Captain Hersey is a 15 year veteran of the Waycross Police Dept. and a native of Waycross, Ga. He began his career on 03-28-1998. In March of 2003 Captain Hersey became a Field Training Officer with the department, and in August was assigned to the S.W.A.T. Team. He is currently serving as one of the team’s leaders. In Dec. of 2004 Captain Hersey was assigned as one of the department’s canine handlers. He held that position until May of 2010. During this portion of his career, He and his canine partner “Jess” received the Exceptional Service Award from the North American Police Work Dog Association.

  • In Dec. of 2006, he was awarded the Waycross I Ware Co. Exchange Club’s Officer of the Year Award for his exceptional service to the community and for the training of seven new officers in that year.
  • In 2008 Captain Hersey was chosen as one of eight to fill a Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear Explosive Team comprised of S.W.A.T. Team Members. He was certified as a Hazardous Material Technician in 2008.
  • In May of 2009 Captain Hersey was promoted from officer to the rank of Sergeant. He served as a shift supervisor, the Community Response Team Supervisor, and in the Criminal Investigations Unit during his time as a Sergeant.
  • In Nov. of 2009, Captain Hersey completed all three levels of supervisor training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
  • Captain Hersey was promoted to Lt. on May 13, 2013.

Paul Crawford Captain

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Capt. Paul “Ryan” Crawford was born and raised in Hazlehurst, Ga. He is the son of Janis Dawson and the late Leon Crawford. He is a 1991 graduate of Jeff Davis High School. Capt. Crawford attended Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College where he graduated the basic police training program in 1994. Capt. Crawford began his career with the Waycross Police Department in September of 1994 as a patrol officer. While serving as a patrol officer, Capt. Crawford was selected as Field Training Officer and a SWAT team member in 1999. Capt. Crawford also served as a primary investigator for traffic accidents involving serious injuries or fatalities. He was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Unit in 2005 as a detective for general investigations. He was honored as Officer of the Year by the Waycross Exchange and Public Safety Officer of the Year by the Georgia Elks Association in 2006 for his role during a collaborative effort in safely resolving a suicidal/ barricaded gunman situation. In December 2006 Capt. Crawford was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and he returned to patrol as a shift supervisor. Capt. Crawford was promoted to Lieutenant in May 2014 and remained in patrol as a unit supervisor. In March of 2018 Capt. Crawford was transferred to the Training & Personnel Unit where he coordinated department training and facilitated the hiring of sworn and non-sworn agency personnel. Capt. Crawford was transferred in August 2019 to the Criminal Investigations Sections and serves as the section commander for general investigations and supervises one detective sergeant and 4 general detectives. Since his time as a supervisor, Capt. Crawford has received certification as a General Instructor, Speed Detection Instructor and Driving Instructor for our agency and also attended and completed the Professional Management Program in association with Columbus State University in 2008. Capt. Crawford has accumulated over 2500 hours of mandated, basic, and advanced training during his 25-year career with the Waycross Police Department.



 

 

WPD LIEUTENANTS

Terrell Murphy Lieutenant

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Scott Rowell Lieutenant

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Gregory Young Lieutenant

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Lieutenant Gregory Young supervises the Support Services Unit of the Waycross Police Department. Lieutenant Young started his career with the Waycross Police Department in 2005. After working on the road for a couple of years, he transferred to the Ware County High School as a School Resource Officer. After a period of time, he transferred back to the patrol unit where he was promoted to Sergeant Relief Commander in May 2010. After quickly learning his duties he was given the position of Watch Commander, which duties included supervising his own shift. After a position came available, Chief promoted Lieutenant Young where he currently holds the position of Lieutenant of Administration.

Since being employed with the City of Waycross he has achieved a Bachelors’s degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University (2011), a Masters’s degree in Criminal Justice from Troy University (2013), and a Masters’s degree in Public Safety Administration from Columbus State University (2013). He is also a member of Class 50 of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College.


Trent Gibbs Lieutenant

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Lieutenant Gibbs is a 14 year veteran of the Waycross Police Dept. and he was raised up in Waycross Ga. He began his career on 03-16-2006 as a patrolman. Lieutenant Gibbs served as one of the first members on the Community Response Team in 2008. In 2009 Lieutenant Gibbs received the Officer of the Year Award. In 2008 Lieutenant Gibbs was assigned to the SWAT team. He is currently serving as one of the SWAT team’s leaders. In 2010 Lieutenant Gibbs became one of the department’s dual-purpose K-9 handlers. Lt. Gibbs is also a certified Field Training Officer. Lieutenant Gibbs now currently supervises and trains all of the Waycross Police Department’s canines and their handlers, to meet the North American Police Work Dog Association standards.

 

  • Officer of the year 2009
  • 2008 became part of the State of Ga’s Chemical Biological Radioactive Nuclear Explosive Team. He is also a Hazmat technician
  • In 2012 Lt. Gibbs was promoted to the rank of Sergeant. He served as the Watch Commander for a patrol shift, the Community Response Supervisor and K-9 Supervisor
  • In 2012 Lt. Trent Gibbs was promoted to Lieutenant.
  • Lt. Gibbs has completed all 3 levels of supervision training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center and has completed a Management course.
  • Lt. Gibbs is a certified Instructor in the State of Ga specializing in K-9 and Firearms.
  • Lt. Gibbs is a 2004 graduate of Ware County High School and has received additional education from Okefenokee Technical College, Thomas University and Faulkner University.
  • Lt. Gibbs currently has over 3700 hours of Ga POST Credit Training
  • Lt. Gibbs currently serves as the ‘Special Operations Commander’.

Chad Zauner Lieutenant

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Lt. Zauner is a 2001 graduate of Pierce Country High School and has an associate degree in Criminal Justice along with a welding diploma from Okefenokee Technical College. Lt. Zauner was previously employed as a corrections officer at Ware State Prison for four years where he was on the prison tactical squad. Lt. Zauner has been married more than 12 years to his wife, Rana Zauner and they have four children together, Chandi, Corbin, Chaden and Cambri.

Lt. Zauner began his career with the Waycross Police Dept in January 2007 as a uniform patrol officer. He was selected as a SWAT team member in July 2008 and was also selected to be a field-training officer and is responsible for helping to train many of the officers that are now under his command. Lt. Zauner is a hazardous material emergency technician for the Georgia Emergency Management Agency’s All Hazard Area 8 CBRNE team and was a previous K-9 handler with the agency. Lt. Zauner was promoted to the rank of Sergeant in December 2015 and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant in August 2017. Lt. Zauner has accumulated more than 2,800 hours of mandated, basic and advanced training with the Georgia Peace Officers Standards Training Council.


Jesse Lee Lieutenant

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Lieutenant Jesse Lee is an 18 year veteran officer of Law Enforcement, after graduating from Ware County High School in 2000 he started his career in Law Enforcement. He began his career in 03-15-2001 after he graduated P.O.S.T. Mandate with the Ware County Sheriff’s Department as a Transport Deputy until 2002 when he want to work for the Nahunta Police Department as a Patrol Officer until 2003. He then worked at the Blackshear Police Department until 2014. He started his career with the Waycross Police Department in 2014 where he served as a Uniform Patrol Officer. In 2017 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant where he commanded a shift of Uniform Patrol Officers. He was promoted to the Rank of Lieutenant in 2019 and assigned to the Training and Personnel section. Lt. Lee is a graduate of South University where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. He holds certifications as a Field Training Officer, General Instructor, Firearms Instructor, Radar and Lidar Speed Detection Instructor and Taser Instructor.


Chuck Brown Lieutenant

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Lieutenant Charles Brown has been with the Waycross Police Department for eight years. Lt. Brown has had various assignments during that time including Patrol Officer, Patrol Sergeant, and Internal Affairs Sergeant. He is currently the commander of the WPD Auxiliary. Lt. Brown is a certified General Instructor with the Waycross Police Department.

Brown holds an Associate of Science Degree in Chemistry from South Georgia College, a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science Criminal Justice from Valdosta State University. Lt. Brown was born in Waycross, GA and raised in Alma, Ga. He is the son of Michael Taylor of Alma, Ga and Melissa Griffin of Calhoun, Ga. In his spare time, Lt. Brown enjoys traveling with his wife Brittany and daughter Ellie.


Casey Caswell Lieutenant

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Officer Casey Caswell is a 1998 Graduate of Ware County High School. Two weeks after graduation Officer Caswell attended Army basic training in Ft. Benning Ga. He served for six years in the Georgia Army National Guard as an Infantryman. During this time he attended Georgia Military College from 1998 to 2000. In the Georgia Army National Guard, he held the rank of Sergeant (E-5), and held many different positions such as a Bradley Fighting Vehicle driver, dismounted infantry grenadier, saw gunner, 240 gunner, and assistant fire team leader. He later became a gunner on the M2 Bradley, firing the 25MM Bushmaster chain gun. In 2001 he was deployed to Bosnia as part of the SFOR 9 peacekeeping mission in the region. In January 2002 he was hired on with the Waycross Police Department as a patrolman. Officer Caswell worked in the jail waiting to go to the police academy at ABAC. During his career at the Waycross Police Department he has held positions as a bike patrol officer, he was assigned to the Waycross Police Department S.W.A.T. team in 2003, on the S.W.A.T. team Officer Caswell has been trained as a chemical munition and a less-lethal instructor. Officer Caswell has also been trained in explosive breaching. In 2006 he was assigned to the Waycross Police Department Traffic Safety team where his duties were to enforce traffic laws and investigate accidents involving a death or serious injury.

He also completed Drug Recognition Expert training. In 2009 officer Caswell was assigned as the S.W.A.T. sniper, and in 2010 completed hazmat technician training and assigned to the area eight CBRNE Response Team. In May of 2014, he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant with the Waycross Police Department. After promoting to Sergeant, Sergeant Caswell worked as a relief commander on patrol and as the administrative Internal Affairs Sergeant. Sergeant Caswell went back to patrol and worked as a shift supervisor after Lt. D. Carter retired. Sergeant Caswell later filled in as a School Resource Officer at Waycross Middle School for the last two months of the 2018-2019 school year. Sergeant Caswell was promoted to Lieutenant assigned to patrol on September 11, 2019, as a watch commander.