Meet Canton’s Interim Police Chief, John Lummus

December 11, 2023
1 min read
Meet Canton's Interim Police Chief, John Lummus

The City of Canton announced today that Captain John Lummus will assume the role of interim police chief for the Canton Police Department. This change comes as the current Police Chief Stephen Merrifield prepares to retire.

Chief Merrifield, who has been with the City of Canton since February 2015, began his career with a four-year stint in the United States Army’s Airborne Ranger Unit, eventually rising to the rank of sergeant. He then transitioned to a thirty-year career with the Cobb County Police, where he achieved the rank of Major, before joining the Canton Police Department as deputy police chief.

Captain Lummus has been a part of the Canton Police Department since February 1997, climbing the ranks from sergeant and lieutenant to Captain in July 2022. In his current role, he oversees the Uniform Patrol Division, responsible for the city’s shift patrols and representing the largest bureau in the agency.

City Manager Billy Peppers spoke highly of Lummus, stating, “Captain Lummus has the support of his colleagues in the command staff and was a unanimous recommendation by our existing leadership, other captains, and lieutenants. John is a perfect example of a career Canton police officer that started with and will retire from our agency.”

Lummus will begin his duties as interim chief on December 20, guiding the department through the holidays and into Merrifield’s official retirement date of January 2. The department will also see the retirement of Deputy Chief Wendell Turner early in 2024, following his nearly 30-year career in law enforcement.

“It is rare to have the retirement of a chief and deputy chief within such a narrow window of time, but both of these employees have dedicated their careers to public service, and we wish them both well in the next phase of life,” Peppers added.

Regarding his new role, Lummus said, “I am honored and humbled the city manager has entrusted me to lead the department through this transitional phase. Chief Merrifield has served the City of Canton and this department with integrity. My goal is to make sure the department continues moving forward and the exemplary work he has done here continues.”

The City of Canton has engaged Reddish Executive Consulting to manage the search for the next Chief of Police. The application window for the position is set to open on December 18 and will close on January 19, 2024, with the new chief expected to be selected in early March.

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