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“One of the helpers”

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Gray tabbed as first-ever MPD female chief of detectives

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    Renee Gray recently became the first female chief of detectives in the 200-plus-year history of the Milledgeville Police Department. PHOTO BY CHRISTIAN MCKEARNEY

Although Renee Gray grew up in the tiny unincorporated Hancock County community of Beulah, not even a dot on the map, she always had big dreams.

Some of those already have been realized. She previously became the first female lieutenant and the first female major in the history of the Milledgeville Police Department. Now, Gray has been promoted to chief of detectives, a title that no woman previously has held within the department.

“I like to think that this is just one more layer of the glass ceiling that’s been shattered,” Gray said. “It’s an honor and not something that I take lightly.”

Gray, who joined the MPD as a patrol officer in 1991, has been heavily involved in “law enforcement community engagement” for more than 20 years now, long before it was trendy and long before other agencies began doing the same. She’s logged countless hours, some on the clock and some off, spending time in schools and spending time around the different neighborhoods. At this point, few people know more people around Milledgeville personally, which Gray says will be an asset in her newposition.

“This profession is all about relationship building. When we are out here responding to these calls, I want people to know that we are the helpers and the people that they can trust,” she said.

Gray was promoted to major and now chief of detectives by Chief Dray Swicord. Both started at the PD during the same era, and they’ve always been sidekicks.

“When I first got into law enforcement, (Swicord) was one of my biggest supporters, and he was always encouraging,” she said. “I just appreciate all of the trust that he’s shown in me, and right now I’m just ready to get to work.”