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Longtime Forsyth County Sheriff's Office employee tabbed as next Cumming police chief
David Marsh 1 072119 web
David Marsh will be sworn in as the city of Cumming's next police chief on Monday, July 22, 2019.

A big change is coming to the Cumming Police Department.

On Monday at 6 p.m., the Cumming City Council will hold a special called meeting to swear in David Marsh as the new police chief, replacing Chief Casey Tatum, who has held the seat since 2012. The hire was made following a work session on Tuesday.

Marsh is a 2003 graduate of Auburn University and had worked with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office from 2004 until accepting the position as chief.

On Friday afternoon, Marsh told the Forsyth County News he wants to improve communication between the department and the community.

“Initially, my goal is just to come in and take a look at what’s going on in there currently,” Marsh said. “One of the things I’d like to try to do moving forward is to involve the community a lot more in the policing aspect. We have some programs and things that we’re looking forward to, to really help interact with city residents and folks who work and travel through the city.”

Mayor Troy Brumbalow said he hopes to see Marsh improve community policing and interaction with residents.

“We’re just trying to build better relationships,” Brumbalow said. “Not that they were bad, but you can always do better. We’re excited, and David has a ton of experience. He was head of the training department for the [Forsyth County] Sheriff’s Office and did a lot of different things while he was there. I think he’s got about 15 years of experience.”

Brumbalow pointed out recent changes in pay for city police to attract and retain employees.

“It’s an attempt to try to improve the city,” he said.

At the sheriff’s office, Marsh held numerous roles. He spent time in the patrol, narcotics and criminal investigation divisions, worked as part of a DEA taskforce and held administrative roles such as training and internal affairs.

Marsh said Sheriff Ron Freeman was supportive of his move to the city and, though he said he wouldn’t be sure of how the relationship was going to work until taking the job, felt “the bonds between the county and city are going to be as strong as they’ve ever been.”

“I spoke with the sheriff at length yesterday, and he could not be more supportive,” Marsh said. “I worked for, at the time, Capt. Ron Freeman and worked with him for about 10 years. He’s always been a help to me during my time there. Even on my way out, he’s offered any resources they currently have to me over at the city, and he could not have been more complimentary and couldn’t be more helpful in that transition.”

The council made the decision during a recent meeting following an executive session.

Tatum, who declined to comment, became chief in 2012 after previous Chief Scott Burgess stepped down due to health concerns. At the time, Tatum had previously served as assistant police chief and has served more than 30 years in law enforcement, including more than 20 years with the city.

Brumbalow said Tatum would remain at the police department.

“Casey did a great job for the city, and Casey’s still employed with the city at the police department,” Brumbalow said. “This is not a negative on him in any way.”