Etta Gray

Maj. Etta Reenae Gray poses next to all of the recognitions she received as a 2020 Jefferson Award national level winner.

Maj. Etta Renee Gray has made history within the ranks of the Milledgeville Police Department.

Earlier this year, Milledgeville Police Chief Dray Swicord promoted Gray to chief of detectives, making her the first woman to ever hold the position with the Milledgeville Police Department.

She now oversees the day-to-day operations of the police department’s criminal investigations bureau and supervises detectives under her command.

Although Maj. Gray’s newest role with the department was already known to many, it had not been publicly announced until last week’s city council meeting.

During the government meeting, Milledgeville Mayor Mary Parham-Copelan publicly acknowledged Maj. Gray for her years with the city police department and congratulated her on her newest promotion.

“Maj. Gray, I want to thank you for your years with the Milledgeville Police Department and I look to many more to come,” Parham-Copelan told her in city council chambers. “We greatly appreciate you. And we definitely honor you in this new capacity of being named chief of detectives. That’s a mighty milestone.”

The mayor also thanked Police Chief Dray Swicord for recognizing Gray and giving her an opportunity.

Parham-Copelan said she couldn’t wait to share the good news with the community.

“She has now entered that next big phase in her life,” Parham-Copelan said. “Thank you so much for your work.”

Swicord, meanwhile, lauded Gray for her dedication and service to the police department and the community.

“She is the right person for this job,” Swicord told The Union-Recorder in a telephone interview. “I wish I could clone her. She has been a great asset to our department and our community.”

Swicord pointed out that he didn’t promote Gray because of her gender or race.

“I promoted her on the basis that she is the best person for the job,” Swicord said. “She will do great things for our community in her new position.”

Gray has been with the city police department for 29 years and working through the ranks, starting as a road patrol officer after she graduated from police academy training. She joined MPD as a patrol officer in 1991. 



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