Jerry Blash was sworn in as the new Walthourville Police Chief on July 8 during a ceremony held at the Liberty County College & Career Academy. Prominent members of the Walthourville community and surrounding areas attended the event including Walthourville Mayor Daisy Pray, Hinesville Police Chief Bill Kirkendall and Walthourville Fire Chief Anthony Burns.
Blash is taking over from Interim Police Chief Jerald Burgess who had served in the leadership position since January 2018. Burgess lead the WPD after the former police chief, Bernie Quarterman, was fired from his position for allegedly violating city policies.
After the swearing in ceremony, Blash thanked his wife for supporting him as they moved from town to town. Blash also thanked Burke County Sheriff Alfonzo Williams for his guidance and teaching during his Academy days and instilling in him many of the values and skills that he continues to uphold. The new police chief went on to say that he plans to serve as the city’s head law enforcement officer for as long as he can, and that he is planning not to change Walthourville, but to “make it better.” Citizens are welcome to stop by the police department, according to Blash, and discuss any potential issues within the community. Blash has started a Facebook page for the department under the name “Walthourville Police Department” to help get information out to those who may check social media before traditional news sources.
Blash was chosen over other candidates due to his previous experience with management and leadership, city officials said. In an interview with the Courier, City Clerk and HR Administrator Melissa Jones stated that Blash is to help with police department employee hiring and retention, and set up programs that would help improve police-community relations.