Ferrell Named as Canton Police Chief

The City of Canton has a new Chief of Police beginning later this month. City Manager Billy Peppers has named Martin P. Ferrell as the next leader for the City’s Police Department. The hire comes after the retirement of former Chief Stephen Merrifield in December.

“Working with our executive search firm, Mercer Group, I am excited to have Chief Marty Ferrell join our team,” said Peppers. “Chief Ferrell brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our department and a passion for the profession of municipal police operations. He is a great communicator, a team builder, and enjoys working with the community.”

The City of Canton engaged Mercer Group Associates in November to begin the search process. The firm conducted a national recruitment effort in December and early January, assisting the City Manager with narrowing the applicant pool to a selection of candidates for formal review. The position of Chief of Police is hired by the City Manager. Mercer Group utilized stakeholder feedback from the department to assist in developing the recruitment brochure for the position.

“We are pleased to welcome Chief Ferrell to the City of Canton and look forward to his leadership of the finest Police Department in the state. Public safety is our top priority as we continue to work, together, to create the coolest, and safest, small town in America,” added Mayor Bill Grant.

Marty Ferrell joins Canton Police following a career with the City of Marietta Police Department. Ferrell began his law enforcement career as an officer with Marietta Police in 1990, eventually serving in narcotics and as a departmental training officer. Rising through the department, he became a Lieutenant in 1999, leading a variety of programs including criminal investigations, traffic enforcement, crime interdiction, Police Explorers, drug education, SWAT, and the City of Marietta’s school resource officer program.

In 2005, Ferrell was promoted to Major, leading outreach, uniform patrol, administrative services, homeland security, among other duties. He served as Deputy Chief for the department from 2013 to 2022. During that time, he established a pastor’s academy for community outreach, introduced the department’s body warn camera technology, incorporated the agency’s crisis intervention team for officer support, and filled in in the absence of the Chief. He attained the office of Chief of Police with Marietta PD in 2022, serving until his retirement from that local government at the end of 2023.

“Through my many years of law enforcement, I have demonstrated a commitment to community policing by being proactive, visible, and accessible to the citizens that I am sworn to protect,” noted Chief Ferrell. “My desire is to always demonstrate to my officers the type of personal interaction and relationships I want them to have with the people whom we serve.”

In addition to his work experience, Ferrell holds post-secondary degrees in criminal justice administration from Columbia Southern University. He is a graduate of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police Chief Executive Training Program, International Association of Chiefs of Police Leadership in Police Organizations, Senior Management Institute of Police, Police Executive Research Forum, Carl Vinson Institute of Government Management Program at the University of Georgia, FBI National Academy, Dale Carnegie Management Program, and the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy.

“Our application process drew national attention and well over 50 qualified applicants. Some of the criteria that I used to determine the best fit for our agency and community included experience in municipal policing, an understanding of law enforcement structures in our state, finding someone that would be inspirational to our officers in growing their careers with Team Canton, a good communicator, and someone willing to invest 5-10 years in leading our agency,” added Peppers. “Marty Ferrell checked all of those boxes and more. While we are excited to have Marty join our team, I want to personally thank Captain John Lummus for serving as our Interim Chief during this process as well as every member of our team for their work and patience during this search.”

Chief Ferrell will begin with the City of Canton on March 27. The Canton Police Department includes 61 employees, both sworn law enforcement personnel and civilian administrative staff. Canton Police Department is a State Certified Law Enforcement Agency.