Mayor Rob Ware said Ely, who retired from the sheriff’s office in July, was chosen from a field of 35 applicants. The Cave Spring City Council interviewed five finalists before announcing its decision this week.
“We talked to all of them and Jerry was the hands-down favorite,” Ware said. “He came highly recommended by all those who had worked with him. We feel we have a real quality person as the head of our police department.”
Ely is expected to start work before the end of the month. The full-time job comes with a $36,000 annual salary.
This will be the first time in 13 years Cave Spring has had a full-time police chief. Ware said no major changes are planned, but Council members wanted someone to direct daily operations.
“We wanted to go back to the situation we had years ago, when we had a full time chief,” he said. “Jerry will be a working chief. He’s well-experienced in law enforce-
ment, and he will have free rein, within reason, to do what he needs to with the department.”
When Randy Lacey was hired as the city’s public safety director in 1998, he headed both the police and fire departments while maintaining a position with the Fulton County Fire Department.
Lacey dropped his police duties in August when he took over as director of the Polk County Emergency Management Agency but remains the Cave Spring fire chief.