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Rincon taps Berry as next chief
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A veteran of the Newport News, Va., Police Department has been hired as the next police chief of Rincon.

Michael Berry will be sworn in as Rincon police chief at Monday’s city council meeting. Berry was one of three finalists for the job taken from a pool of 13 applicants.

With the Newport News Police Department, Berry was a shift supervisor in the South precinct.  He was with the Newport News PD for 17 years. The Newport News Police Department has a force of 573.

Rincon officials are negotiating a start date for Chief Berry.

The position became available when David Schofield stepped down as chief. In its ad on the Georgia Municipal Association’s Web site, the city was looking for candidates with at least 15 years of experience and a background in training. They also wanted candidates who have had supervisory experience in police departments with at least 100 certified officers.

Schofield, who served in a Marine artillery unit in Vietnam, had been in law enforcement for 38 years before deciding to step down. He had been chief of the Woodstock Police Department before coming to Rincon.

The selection committee consisted of City Manager Donald Toms, City Clerk Wanda Hendrix and two current officers. The Rincon police force submitted a list of 20 questions to be asked to the candidates for the chief’s position.

Toms worked for the city of Newport News before becoming city manager of Bowdon.

Sgt. Freddy Wagoner has been handling the day-to-day duties of the chief in the interim.