Ashburn new Madison police chief
Law enforcement veteran chosen from 50-plus candidates
By Patrick Yost
When Captain Bill Ashburn retires on Feb. 28 after more than 30 years with the Georgia State Patrol, he won’t have to wonder what he’ll do to fill his days.
Ashburn, 52, was named the new chief of the Madison Police Department on Tuesday.
According to Madison City Manager David Nunn, Ashburn was the top selection of more than 50 candidates that applied for the job after former Madison Police Department Chief Travis Stapp resigned in October 2012. Following Stapp’s resignation, Assistant Chief Carl Jones, the lead investigator for the department, filled the role.
Nunn said he reviewed the final four candidates with Madison City Council members Whitey Hunt and Fred Perriman and then reached a decision on Ashburn. Ashburn said he has accepted the $70,000-per-year job and expects to begin work in early March after his retirement with the Georgia State Patrol is official.
“It was a good process,” Nunn said. “We interviewed strong candidates from top to bottom.”
Nunn said the final candidates “were all on par as far as experience and education…” but that Ashburn had both local knowledge of the community and impeccable academic and training credentials.
“Bill has a unique combination of work experience and education,” Nunn said. “It’s important that it’s someone the community and the department felt comfortable with and someone they could work with from the outset.”
Ashburn started his career with the Georgia State Patrol as an operator three months after he earned a Bachelor’s degree from Troy State University in Criminal Justice with a minor in Business Administration. He has also earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration from Columbus State University.
Ashburn is currently the troop commander over five Georgia State Patrol posts, including Madison, Milledgeville, Monroe, Washington and Grovetown.
A life-long resident of Morgan County and a 1978 graduate of Morgan County High School, Ashburn’s roots run deep in the local community and it’s an attribute that he says will be beneficial to the job.
“I still feel like I have something to offer the community,” Ashburn said. “Madison is my home.”
Ashburn’s resume is loaded with top marks from the Georgia State Patrol in both academic and field experience. He received both the highest academic scholastic average in the 60th trooper school as well as the marksmanship award for the same school. Ashburn has completed and been certified in a wide range of law enforcement disciplines from drug interdiction to terrorism and management.
He said he looks forward to a new challenge and new chapter in his law enforcement career and he said the city of Madison Police Department is in solid shape. "I think there is a very good base. The Madison Police Department has some really good officers."
"I'm going to take it as it comes and make adjustments where it's necessary."
Printed in the January 17, 2013 edition.