When he graduated from Newton County High School in the 1990s, now former Social Circle Police Chief Tyrone Oliver said he had three careers in mind. He wanted to be a mortician, he wanted to join the military and he wanted to become a member of law enforcement. In 2016, by the age of 37, he had accomplished all three. Oliver says he wasn’t looking to add the title of Commissioner of the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice to his name by the age of 40, but if that was on his bucket list, he could now cross it off too. It is, however, something that Oliver says he’s happy to take on.
“As I grew in this career, and as I’m sitting here now, I can see the passion in the department and the passion for the youth – to put them back in the community as productive members of society,” Oliver said from his new position at the Georgia DJJ. “We can do the work here together for the kids and the youth. This is something I’ve always been passionate about. You can see by the boards I serve on. I’ve always had a passion for helping young adults succeed in life and now I have an opportunity to help do that in this position.”
Oliver is currently a board member for the Student Success Alliance, A Child’s Voice Child Advocacy Center, Advantage Behavioral Health Systems and the Leadership Walton Alumni Association. He also is a member of the Social Circle Rotary Club.
So Social Circle’s loss is now Georgia’s gain. On July 25, 2019, Oliver effectively left his position with Social Circle when Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp swore him in to head up the Georgia DJJ. He will now lead the state agency in its mission to protect and serve all the citizens of Georgia by “holding young offenders accountable for their actions through the delivery of services and sanctions in appropriate settings and by supporting youth in their communities to become productive and law-abiding citizens.”
While acknowledging that it will indeed be a loss to the city, Social Circle City Manager Adele Schirmer said she believes Social Circle, as well as the state as a whole, will continue to benefit from Oliver’s new appointment.
“While we hate to lose him, we did expect at some point that his talents would be called for a larger stage. He will do a terrific job at the Department of Juvenile Justice and we at the city and across the state will continue to benefit from his skills,” Schirmer said. “He is a great talent – and a tribute to the city of Social Circle. He has a unique blend of skills. He is very approachable, very personable and truly respects people. He has great integrity and has an extremely strong ability to maintain perspective in all situations. He has the ability to read a situation and to inspire. He is certainly a credit to his profession.”
Schirmer said Oliver has left behind a very strong police department, “with well-trained members, a very positive environment that is collaborative and community-based. He built a great legacy and we will continue to benefit from it.”
Oliver said his goal in any role is always to leave it in a better place than he found it. He said he is confident that the Social Circle Police Department will continue growing its community policing, will maintain the professional organization that it is and will continue implementing good training – all goals that he had when he first joined the department.
“We got better benefits all round and achieved state certification, something that had not been achieved in the past,” Oliver said, going on, however, to attribute the success of the department to its staff members. “They’re the ones who make the agency and I know it’s going to continue to grow and do much better. I have full confidence in the staff, as well as the city staff and administration.”
When announcing Oliver’s appointment to the Georgia DJJ, Kemp had high praise for the new commissioner, noting that he had been a pillar of the Newton County community, where he began his law enforcement career, as well as in the subsequent law enforcement departments and the numerous organizations.
“As commissioner of the Department of Juvenile Justice, I know that Tyrone will lead with integrity to ensure that Georgians in his care have the right tools to succeed and improve their lives for the better,” Kemp said in a press release.
In his bio it is noted that Oliver joined the Newton County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy in 1999, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant and serving in investigations and as a public information officer. He joined the Brookhaven Police Department when the DeKalb County city was formed in 2013 and was promoted there to the rank of lieutenant and serving as the assistant commander of internal affairs and criminal investigations He became the chief of police in Social Circle on Jan. 8, 2016, and in November 2018 was designated as deputy city manager.”
He may be serving on a larger stage, but Oliver said Walton County and Social Circle will continue to have a special place in his heart.
“It was a hard decision to leave Social Circle, but they believed I can do it. I appreciate the confidence and I want to thank the City of Social Circle, the city manager, the staff, the council and the citizens. I will miss them dearly, but I won’t forget them. It is a wonderful community. Social Circle is my heart, my home. I will still be involved in the community.”
He said everyone can expect to continue seeing him out and about. Oliver and his family live in Social Circle and his wife, Aimee, is an investigator with the Walton County District Attorney’s office. Oliver went on to post the following message on his Facebook page, thanking Gov. Kemp and the Board for his appointment and everyone for the support and well wishes.
I would like to thank everyone for all of the calls, texts, emails and words of encouragement. To Governor Kemp and the Board Members, thank you for having the confidence and trust in me for this position. I will work hard for Georgia and the Department of Juvenile Justice. I’m looking forward to working with the men and women at DJJ to bring the agency to new heights. I will miss everyone in Social Circle! You guys will always hold a special place in my heart.
DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver bio
DJJ Commissioner Tyrone Oliver is a long-time resident of Newton County, Georgia and was appointed to his position on July 25, 2019. In 1999, Commissioner Oliver began his law enforcement career with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office as a detention officer. After becoming a Deputy Sheriff, Commissioner Oliver was promoted to Sergeant and later Lieutenant. He was given the opportunity to work for several different divisions, allowing him the versatility to effectively and successfully serve the community.
His law enforcement career with Newton County has included work for Uniform Patrol, Community Outreach, the East Metro Drug Enforcement Team, Criminal Investigations, the Special Investigations Unit, and the Crime Suppression Unit. He also served as the Public Information Officer. Commissioner Oliver was one of the first to be hired for the Brookhaven Police Department when the new city formed in 2013. He was hired as a Sergeant and later promoted to Lieutenant. He served as the Assistant Commander of Internal Affairs and Criminal Investigations.
On January 8, 2016, Commissioner Oliver was officially named Chief of Police for the City of Social Circle after a long, competitive process. In November 2018, he was designated by the City of Social Circle as Deputy City Manager.
Commissioner Oliver is a graduate of Columbus State University’s Law Enforcement Professional Management Program. He successfully completed Leadership Newton County and Walton County, the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development Program and Leadership Trilogy Program, and Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange to Israel (GILEE). Oliver is also an active member in the Social Circle Rotary Club, Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police, and International Association of Chiefs of Police.
Commissioner Oliver is serving currently as a board member for A Child Voice Advocacy Center Inc., Communities in Schools Walton County, Advantage Behavioral Health Systems, and Leadership Walton Alumni Association.