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Police Chief Courtney Gale is shown with Chief Judge Harold A. Hinesley and Pastor Kevin Daniel after being sworn in Monday.

Thomson Police Chief Courtney Gale was sworn into office Monday afternoon by Toombs Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Harold A. Hinesley.

She previously was a lieutenant with the University of Georgia Police Department. Gale was accompanied by several peers and mentors from the law enforcement community including the UGA chief, an analyst, GBI agents, the Jackson County Sheriff, and a retired Athens Clarke County Police department captain.

“I’m excited today for our community,” said Thomson Mayor Kenneth Usry. “We’re embarking, we’ve gone down a trail that we’ve never been down before, but it’s exciting to have Courtney Gale come as our new police chief — the first lady police chief that we’ve had in Thomson. We’re excited about it.”

Usry explained to the audience gathered for the swearing in and reception for Gale how she was selected. The city partnered with he Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police for the recruitment and screenings of chief candidates. Usry said 14 applied, three were then interviewed by the city administrator, then two finalist were interviewed by the city council.

“Without a shadow of doubt the night of her interview everybody on the city council, and they’re sitting right here, was 100 percent in favor of this lady being our police chief. Courtney that speaks well,” added Usry.

Gale was sworn into office by Hinesley while Pastor Kevin Daniel, of Bethel Baptist Church in Watkinsville, held the Bible for her.

“I am thrilled to be a part of this community and I am thrilled to be a part of this police department and I gratefully appreciate all of the welcoming and love I am feeling,” said Gale. “So, here’s to a safe and fun community. Thank you.”

She will start work the final week of July. Various elected officials from Thomson, McDuffie County, and Dearing were on hand to welcome the new chief at the reception in the government center. Attendees also included numerous city and county employees, a GBI representative, a Georgia State Patrol representative, several local judges, staff from the district attorney’s office and others from the community.