Anthony ‘Tony’ Tanner – Chief of Police


Anthony ‘Tony’ Tanner
Chief of Police
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Chief Anthony Tanner started his career in June, 1987 with the Waycross Police Department. Chief Tanner has held every rank within the department. He started his career as a Patrol Officer. On 10-22-1990 he was transferred to the Criminal Investigations Unit as a detective. On 08-02-1991 he was promoted to the rank of Sergeant and transferred back to Uniform Patrol where he served as shift supervisor. He was transferred back to Criminal Investigations in June of 1997 as the Sergeant of C.I.U. He was promoted to Lieutenant of Criminal Investigations on 12-19-1997. He served in that capacity for four years. On 10-31-2001, Chief Tanner was promoted to the rank of Captain and assigned the duties of Field Operations Commander. In 2004 he was promoted to the rank of Major where he supervised both Field Operations and Administration.

Prior to being appointed to the position of Chief of Police, Chief Tanner also was a member of the department’s SWAT team. He began as a tactical entry member and worked his way to lead the team as the SWAT Team Leader and eventually SWAT Team Commander.

In June 2004, the police department was shocked when Chief James E. Blackburn was diagnosed with a critical illness that would require Chief Tanner to assume duties as Acting Chief of Police on November 1st, 2004. Chief Tanner was officially inducted as Waycross Police Department’s Chief of Police on October 18, 2005.

He has accumulated many hours of education and training related to his law enforcement profession. Chief Tanner attended the 180th Session of the FBI National Academy in Quantico, Virginia where he completed his course of study in March of 1995. He was chosen as one of the students to attend Class-1 of the Georgia Law Enforcement Command College and graduated from this program in 1997. He also received his BS Degree in Criminal Justice, from Columbus State University in 1997 and continued his education and received his Masters Degree in Public Administrations from Columbus State University in 2005 as well as graduating from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Chiefs School.

Chief Tanner has been the recipient of many civic and professional awards. His first award was receiving the Robert R. Lyons Academic Achievement Award while attending the Coastal Georgia Basic Police Academy. In 1997, he was named Law Enforcement Officer of the Year for the Waycross Exchange Club and Officer of the Year awarded by the Daughters of the American Revolution. He received the prestigious Eagle Award for Law Enforcement from Criminal Justice Coordinating Council in 2005. He also received the Waycross Exchange Outstanding Fair Worker in 2007 and in 2008 he was the recipient of the Leadership Waycross Best Day Chair Award. In 2009, Chief Tanner received the NAMI Director Vernon Keenan Leadership Award and in 2011 Chief Tanner received the Outstanding Chief of the Year from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Chief Tanner works tirelessly in his community as a public servant both professionally and privately and he either has held or currently holds positions in many civic organizations and government committees. He is a member or serves as a board member in numerous organizations on both state and local levels. Chief Tanner has served for several terms as the Area 8 All Hazard Council Board Chairman and continues as a member, a District Representative for Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police since 2008 and a Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police member. He serves on the Satilla Advocacy Center Board of Directors, the Waycross/Ware County Public Safety Training Center Board of Directors and the Child Fatality Review Board. He is a member of the Georgia Chapter of FBI National Academy Association, an IACP member, a member of FOP Lodge #5 and several others. He is a member of Okefenokee Technical College Criminal Justice Advisory Council, the past co-chairman of the Domestic Violence Task force and a member of the Child Abuse Protocol Committee. He is a member of the Leadership Waycross Alumni and Georgia Command College Alumni. He is currently serving as the 2013-2014 President-Elect of the Waycross Exchange Club where he is scheduled to assume the role of President in July for the upcoming 2014-2015 Exchange Club year. He has previously held these positions in 2009-2010. He is the coordinator for the American Red Cross Blood Drive events held bi-annually at the Waycross Police Department.

Chief Tanner can be reached at 912.287.2927 or 912.287.2921.