Editor's Note: The three finalists for the open police chief position were announced at Monday's City Council meeting. Below, candidate Tom Arnold discusses his law enforcement experience and why he applied for the position. To read about candidate Jeffery Pearce, click here, and for candidate Charlie Sewell, click here. The city must wait at least 14 days after naming the candidates to make a final decision; the June 20 council meeting stands as a possibility, as it will fall exactly 14 days after the finalists were revealed. The candidates are scheduled to talk with citizens at a public meet-and-greet on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Coach Ford Center's Reception Hall.
My name is Tom Arnold. I am a major with the Cobb County Police Department and am also serving as the interim police chief for the Powder Springs Police Department.
I have worked for CCPD for more than 31 years, and during that time, I have had assignments in almost every division of the department.
The majority of my career with Cobb has been in the uniform division, working in tactical operations with 20-plus years on the SWAT Team. My other involvement includes the USRT (Dive) Team, MCS Narcotics, Crimes Against Persons—Robbery/Homicide, precinct commander, and the MCS Organized Crime Unit. I have also attended the FBI National Academy.
My family moved to Powder Springs in 1974. I graduated from McEachern High School, and I have lived in the area ever since.
My wife Terri and I live in Powder Springs and we have two sons. We are members of the First Christian Church of Mableton, where I have been a member since 1974.
I have always felt that if I was ever going to pursue becoming a police chief, I would want to be chief in my hometown. Although Powder Springs has experienced a lot of growth—just like the rest of Cobb County—it still has a hometown atmosphere with friendly people, good businesses and residential areas.
When I began as the interim chief, I quickly learned that this department was full of dedicated professionals, including civilian employees and those who serve in a part-time capacity.
During this time, I have seen unlimited potential of this department, this city and its personnel. Initially, I said that I was not interested in becoming the full-time chief because I was very happy with my job at Cobb County and felt that I had additional goals that I wanted to achieve there.
However, I have grown to appreciate the job that this department has been doing, and I look forward to the possibility of becoming the future chief of the Powder Springs Police Department and being a part of its growth and development, as well as that of the city as a whole.
There are great opportunities awaiting this department and its personnel, and I want to be a part of that and help teach, train and grow this department to its full potential.