Cliff Cason was named chief of the Dalton Police Department at Monday morning’s monthly meeting of the Dalton Public Safety Commission. Chief Cason had been serving as the head of the agency on an interim basis in his role as the assistant chief since January when Jason Parker left the department to become Dalton’s city administrator.
“I always thought I’d probably end up being a career sergeant on the streets with patrol officers,” Cason said after Monday morning’s meeting as he reflected on the career goals he had when he started with the department in 1993. “I’m very pleased to have this opportunity and looking forward to finishing the remainder of my career here at the Dalton Police Department as the agency head.”
Chief Cason joined the Dalton Police Department has served the agency for more than 24 years, joining as a patrol officer in 1993. He was promoted to the role of assistant chief in April 2015 and has served as the acting agency head since Jason Parker’s departure in January. Before moving into administration, he served in a number of different roles with the agency, including work as a detective and drug unit detective in the Criminal Investigations Division and division commander in both the Support Services Division and Patrol Division. Cason has received a large variety of specialized police command training, including attending the FBI’s National Academy. He has specialized management training from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, the Police Executives’ Research Forum, and the FBI LEEDS (Law Enforcement Executive Development Seminar). Assistant Chief Cason holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbus State University in Columbus, Ga., and a bachelor’s degree from Covenant College. Assistant Chief Cason is active in the community, including his membership in Dalton’s Civitan Club.
“[It’s a] little bit of relief,” Chief Cason said of the feeling of being promoted to chief. “Since early January, I’ve been serving as the acting agency head, and to finally have the process coming to a close and know that I can start moving forward with some personnel changes with promotions and other things and doing some positive work with the community as the official chief is something I’m looking forward to.”
The Public Safety Commission voted 3-0 with one abstention in favor of promoting Cason to chief. Commissioner Carlos Calderin abstained and chairman Bill Weaver votes in the event of a tie. Captain Chris Cooke, a 22-year veteran of the police department, was the other finalist for the chief’s job.