ATHENS, Ga. — Manager Blaine Williams announced Friday that Cleveland Lee Spruill Sr. has been named the new chief of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

“After careful consideration and based on extensive feedback from the citizens and officers about what they want to see in our new Police Chief, I believe that Chief Spruill will be an exceptional fit for Athens-Clarke County,” says Williams.  “He stood out among an extremely well-qualified group of candidates as the right person to lead our Police Department, uphold our community-oriented policing philosophy, and serve as an ambassador to the community.”

Spruill was previously chief of the Huntersville, NC, Police Department from May 2014 to January 2019. Prior to that, Spruill spent 27 years serving with the Alexandria, Va., Police Department, rising through the ranks, and including 17 years of command level experience with assignments in each of the department's major bureaus.

After retiring from the Alexandria department in 2014 as Executive Deputy Chief, he moved to Huntersville.

“Throughout his 31-year police career, Chief Spruill has established a reputation as a reformer and change agent,” said Williams. “He has shown that he can support his officers effectively in reducing crime and enhancing the quality of life, while at the same time building trust and strengthening community relationships with law enforcement.”

Spruill is a Queens, NY native, and relocated with his family to Richmond, Va., in 1978. After graduating high school, he enlisted in the US Army, where he was assigned to the 3rd US Infantry Battalion at Ft. Myer, Va. He received an honorable discharge in 1986 and joined the Alexandria Police Department the following year.

He is a graduate of the 217th Session of the FBI National Academy in 2004 and completed the  Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police in 2012. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s degree, both in Business Management, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

“It is an honor and a privilege to be selected as the next chief of the Athens-Clarke County Police Department,” said Spruill. “I look forward to leading the talented and capable men and women of the department and pledge my best effort to train them and enrich their careers. Together, we will strive to build on organizational successes and enhance trust and relationships with the community to make Athens-Clarke County among the safest places in Georgia to live, learn, work and visit.”

Spruill will begin his duties as chief of police on February 4, 2019.