Mark J. Mitchell, 41, a 20-year veteran of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, was sworn in at City Hall on Thursday morning to fill the vacant position.
Canton Police Chief Robert Merchant helped welcome Mitchell aboard during the ceremony and said he was pleased to have him as a part of the team.
“I think we’ve got somebody who’s the real deal here,” Merchant said.
After being sworn in by Canton Associate Municipal Court Judge Darrell Caudill, Mitchell said he was “honored and humbled” to be picked for the position.
“I’m ready, I’m excited,” Mitchell said. “I want to become part of the family of the Canton Police Department.”
Merchant said Mitchell was welcome as part of the family.
“(We) look forward to working with you for many years to come,” he said.
Mitchell is filling the position left vacant by Todd Vande Zande, who was fired last year by Merchant after refusing to resign. Vande Zande appealed his firing, claiming it was a result of his “refusal to violate state law and my oath of office when asked by City Manager Scott Wood to perform an illegal background check on an individual who publicly criticized Mr. Wood in an open meeting.”
Mitchell will earn $74,000 a year, according to the Canton Police Department.
He has a master’s degree in criminal justice from Troy University and finished his time with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office as captain in charge of the uniform division.