Thomson's top cop, Chief Joseph D. Nelson, is continuing to get his feet wet in his new job as police chief.
His first full day on the job was March 25 -- a day spent mostly talking with staff members at the police department and with officials at city hall.
"I'm proud and honored to be serving as Thomson's new chief of police," said Chief Nelson during an interview with The McDuffie Mirror last Friday. "It's been a really busy few days for me to be quite honest. I've been received well. And I'm enjoying the transition. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It's been a very enlightening time."
One of those who have welcomed Chief Nelson is McDuffie County Sheriff Logan Marshall who made an impression on Chief Nelson when he was a teenager growing up in nearby Wrens.
"Logan was much younger back then, when he and former Sheriff William Swan came to Wrens High School and addressed a large group of us students, about 15 of us football players," recalled Chief Nelson. "He had a voice of a gladiator and it made an enormous impression on me and my friends right then and there -- to make good choices in life -- not bad choices. I've always thought of Sheriff Marshall as a big mentor in my life. It's great to know that we will now be working together to curtail crime in Thomson and McDuffie County."
Sheriff Marshall has offered the help of his office in anyway needed by the Thomson Police Department.
"I really appreciate his offer to help us anyway he can," said Chief Nelson. "That really means a lot to me, both personally and professionally."
Chief Nelson, who had been serving as chief investigator with the Washington Police Department before being hired to become the new chief of police in Thomson, says he's already beginning to get acclimated to his new post.
"I've met with the officers on the force and had conversations with each one of them," said Chief Nelson, who has more than 20 years of law enforcement experience, including military service. "I'm looking forward to helping make the Thomson Police Department the best police department in the Toombs Judicial Circuit."
That process already has begun.
Chief Nelson, donning his new white shirt and black slacks as his dress uniform, explained that he has ordered new uniforms for his officers and that they should arrive sometime soon. He chose to change the black shirt, beige pants to an all-black uniform, the slacks having gold stripes down the side. Officers also will be wearing black leather shoes and black campaign hats, similar to the ones worn by Georgia state troopers.
"I call this my meet and greet uniform," said Chief Nelson, saying he's hopeful his officers' new uniforms will arrive within the next 90 days. "These new uniforms are going to make our officers look sharp and very professional-looking to go with their new image of being professional at all times."
He pointed out that aside from his officers being professional that they also would be fair.
At the same time, Chief Nelson wants to send a loud message to those who enjoy breaking the laws within the city limits of Thomson.
"We will always be diligent in our efforts to regain total control of the streets in the city limits of Thomson," said Chief Nelson, noting that should be fair warning to would-be criminals.
"They need to think twice about being a crook, whatever their crime activity might be, whether its drugs, gangs, etc," he added.."