About the Chief
Stacey L. Cotton has served as the Chief of Police for the Covington Police Department since 1997. He began his career with Covington in 1987 and has served in many capacities within the department
Chief Cotton served as the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police (GACP) President in 2009-2010.
In recognition for his efforts in Law Enforcement at the local, state, and National level along with his dedicated service to the GACP Chief Cotton was named the “Outstanding Chief of the Year” for 2012-2013.
Also during his tenure as chief, the Covington Police Department was the IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award Winner for Excellence in Law Enforcement in 2002, becoming the first agency in Georgia to win the award. He served as the SACOP/IACP representative in 2002-2003 and served on the IACP Elections Committee and as Special Advisor to the Executive Board. He also served on the IACP Conference Committee from 2006-2008.
He has also served various roles with the International Association Chiefs of Police (IACP) of which he is a Life Member. He is currently serving on the IACP financial review committee as a board member.
As one of the very few law enforcement executives to be selected to participate in Leadership Georgia Chief Cotton was a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2006. His involvement in and service to the community truly shows just how much he cares about Covington and Newton County. He served on the Leadership Newton County Advisory Committee from 1996 – 2002. He served as the Chairman of Leadership Newton County in 1996 and the Steering Committee in 1995. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Covington-Newton County Chamber of Commerce.
He has been a member of the Rotary Club in Covington since 1997 and is a Paul Harris Fellow and the recipient of the Covington Rotary Club’s Rotarian of the Year award for 2012. In 2015 he was named the “Robert Stubbs Guardian of Ethics” recipient for District 6910. He served as Covington Rotary Club’s President 2016-17.
He is a founding member and past President of “A Childs Voice” Child Advocacy Center located in Social Circle, Georgia. He served on the Board of Directors for Project ReNeWal from 1998 -2002. Project ReNeWal is a multi-county shelter for battered women and children that serve Rockdale, Newton and Walton counties. He served as an expert panel member and was asked to present in front of former First Lady Rosalyn Carter in Washington DC, for “Care Giving Capacity in the Community” as part of a project sponsored by Johnson & Johnson and the Rosalyn Carter Institute in 2002.
Chief Cotton has served on the Newton County DFACs Board as chair since 2012 and is a member of the DFACs Regional Board.
Under his leadership, the Covington Police Department has remained Internationally Accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), since it was initially accredited in 1985; the 1st in Georgia and the tenth in the nation to earn that honor. He has served as a CALEA assessor and Team Leader on 19 separate assessments. Chief Cotton was asked to participate in the revision of the CALEA Assessor final report and was part of the early development of the modern format of the agency assessments. Wanting to support the state’s own program, the department was first State-certified under his leadership in July 2001 and has been recertified several times since. Stacey served on the Board of Directors for the Georgia Police Accreditation Coalition (GPAC). Also, under his leadership, the Covington-Newton 911 Center became accredited for the first time.
Chief Cotton has always remained a strong believer in formal education and encourages members of the Covington Police Department to get their education. He sets the example as he has a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Troy University. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, from Mercer University and an Associate’s Degree from Dekalb College. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, 188th Session in 1997. He has served as an Adjunct Professor for American Intercontinental University and Mercer University.
Most important in Chief Cotton's life are his wife Lana, sons Kole, and Kyle, and his stepdaughter Madisyn. Stacey is a member of First Baptist Church in Covington.