For years, Capt. Mike Whitlow has been the face and the voice of the Fayetteville Police Department. Those days are about to come to an end.
“I’ve come full circle,” Whitlow said, noting that he began his career in private security and is now returning to that field.
Above, Fayetteville police Capt. Mike Whitlow at one of the many training classes he taught with the Fayetteville Police Department. Photo/Submitted.
Whitlow in early October will be leaving the department after a 10-year stint and will be returning to private security in another state.
Looking back over his career with the department, Whitlow said his greatest pleasure was teaching in community settings. Numbering nearly 100 in all, Whitlow taught a variety of seminars and made presentations in community meetings, to homeowners associations and to civic clubs.
Whitlow began he career with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office in 1997, serving as a detention officer, then as a patrol officer, a detective and working with court services.
He came to the Fayetteville Police Department in early 2006, where he served as a patrol officer, detective, a lieutenant with the Criminal Investigations Division, a lieutenant with the Office of Professional Standards and as captain over that office.
Whitlow became heavily involved in community relations, also serving as the department’s public information officer, conducting internal affairs investigations and was part of the creation of the Community Activity Response and Education (CARE) Unit.
Reflecting back over the past decade working in law enforcement in Fayetteville, Whitlow said that, except for the increases in population and traffic, the best aspects of the city have not changed.
“Fayetteville has managed to maintain the community persona it had in the 1980s and 1990s,” he said. “It’s a good place to live and shop.”
Commenting on the changes in the police department, Whitlow said it has grown over the years as the population grew, and has become more diverse, including in the number of services offered to the community.
Whitlow mentioned a prediction that was often made two decades ago, one that has not come to fruition.
“Back then, there was a prediction that Fayetteville would become crime-ridden. But it just hasn’t happened,” Whitlow said, basing his comments on annual crime reports that show Fayetteville with a much smaller number of serious crimes compared to cities of similar size across Georgia.