Now, more than 1,200 members strong, including over 500 Georgia police chiefs and numerous product vendors, the association of chiefs has risen from humble beginnings.
The Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police is responsible for the delivery of training to the chiefs of Georgia’s police departments and law enforcement agencies.
Recently, Moss had his memories stirred as he and current Polk County Police Chief Billy Wills visited the association’s new headquarters located in Duluth.
Moss, now 82 years of age, said the association started back in 1962 with only 17 members participating. The main goal, Moss said, was to train police chiefs to become better at their jobs.
“When we first started, we didn’t have money to send out notices,” Moss laughed.
Now, the organization is one of the most respected law enforcement associations in the state. It is the largest professional association for law enforcement administrators in Georgia, and one of the largest in the country.
Moss is one of only three surviving “founding fathers” who attended the first meeting, in which members discussed policy and tried to get the group off to a sound start. Also surviving are former Elberton Police Chief George Ward and former Atlanta Police Department Chaplain and Catholic minister, Don Kiernan.
The former police chief stated that he was the association’s first president and is one of only a few chiefs who have held two one-year terms as president of the association. His two terms lasted from 1968 – 1970. He attributes the success of the organization he helped found to having “good people” at the helm, in addition to a solid work ethic.
“They’ve worked hard and done a good job,” Moss said.
Described as a “local legend” by Wills, Moss spent 43 years total with the Cedartown Police Department, spending 34 of those as chief.
Moss said he chose to stay involved with the association after his retirement because of his love of law enforcement.
“If a man ever goes into police work and leaves, he will want to come back. If it gets in your blood you want to do it,” Moss said.
Thanks to the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, Wills, along with other local chiefs, was able to attend a conference in Savannah on July 25 titled, “Protecting and Serving in the 21st Century.” During the conference, topics such as “Project Safe Neighborhood” and homeland security were discussed.
In addition to Wills being part of the organization, Cedartown Police Department Chief John Dean is a member as well.
Wills said he is thankful for Moss and the other founders, who started the organization that he benefits from now.
“A man sitting in my position today has to thank people like him,” Wills said of Moss. “If it weren’t for people like him, the organization wouldn’t be as strong as it is today.