Candidate for IACP 5th Vice President: Stacey Cotton

Candidate for IACP 5th Vice President: Stacey Cotton

Chief CottonStacey Lanier Cotton has served as Chief of Police for the City of Covington, Georgia since 1997.  Originally hired as a patrol officer in 1987 he has held the ranks of Sergeant, Lieutenant, and Assistant Chief. Under his leadership, the Covington Police Department has remained CALEA-accredited since it was initially accredited in 1985 and is celebrating 35 years as an internationally accredited agency.  In addition to a bachelor’s degree from Mercer University, where he has served as an adjunct professor, Chief Cotton holds two Masters Degrees from Troy University; one in Public Administration and one in Criminal Justice.  Chief Cotton is also a 1997 graduate of the FBI National Academy – Session 188 and was a member of the Leadership Georgia Class of 2006. 

Chief Cotton has served on many boards and is involved with many community programs.  In 2019 Governor Brian Kemp appointed Chief Cotton to the Georgia Board of Public Safety.  He was a founding member and past chairman of the Newton-Walton Child Advocacy Center “A Child’s Voice”.  He is a past president of the Georgia Association of Chief of Police (2009-10) and was named Police Chief of the year for the State Of Georgia in 2012.  Chief Cotton was awarded the Robert Stubbs III Guardian of Ethics award in 2015 and is the past recipient of the E. G. Lassiter Covington Rotarian of the Year in 2012 and served as Rotary President 2016-17.  In 2015 Governor Nathan Deal named Chief Cotton to the Georgia Commission on Medical Cannabis.

Chief Cotton is a life member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police and served on the board of directors as a member of the Financial Review Committee along with several other committees over his 23 year membership. 

Chief Cotton has traveled extensively both in the US and abroad to study and improve police services internationally.  He has traveled to London, Turkey, Israel, Hungary, and the Republic of Georgia and has instructed internationally. 

He is a member of Covington First Baptist Church.  Chief Cotton and his wife Lana have three children, Kole, Kyle, Madisyn and grandson Lanier.  

Candidate Statement

My name is Stacey Cotton and I am a candidate for IACP fifth vice president in 2021.  I have served as a police officer for 34 years here in my hometown of Covington, Georgia, 23 of that as police chief.  I have always approached my law enforcement career with a servant’s heart. As a Rotarian for over 23 years their motto of “Service Above Self” directly reflects my belief of how I serve my community and has also assisted me in my career as a fellow law enforcement officer and chief.  Serving the law enforcement community is important to me and I am a proud life member of the IACP. 

2020 has brought many challenges to our country and to our profession.  I believe that during the most troubled times true leadership finds its place and leaves its mark.  I sincerely believe that the next months and years will shape our profession in a profound way.  I want to be a part of that transformation and help shape law enforcement for the next generation.  I want to make sure your voice is heard, and that any transformation continues to move our profession forward in a positive and productive way.  The IACP will be the association that does that.

As my three-year appointment to the Board of Directors Financial Review Committee (FRC) comes to an end, I know that our association is fiscally strong and poised for the future.  My time on the FRC allowed me to see firsthand how strong our Executive Board’s leadership truly is.  The IACP’s Executive Director and staff handle the complexity of this great association with a professionalism and grace that is an example to all other law enforcement associations. 

In this trying time of the pandemic and social unrest many law enforcement associations will not survive the financial hit they have taken.  The IACP has prepared itself financially to be strong and the current leadership and staff has done a remarkable job navigating through these tough times.  I have also served on the elections committee, the conference committee, and the Georgia representative on SACOP.  In 2002 I was honored as the recipient of the prestigious IACP/Motorola Webber Seavey Award. 

My international experience has carried me to many locations around the world in my official capacity as police chief.  I was the delegation head of the 2001 Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) to Israel and have served on the board of directors ever since.  In 2007 I was part of another GILEE delegation to London to assist in their preparations for the 2012 Olympics. 

I have also been invited to teach response to domestic violence and active shooter response to the Georgian Police.  I have also presented at three of the Women in Policing Conferences held in Tbilisi, Georgia and at the International Police Academy in Budapest, Hungary.  My many interactions with the leadership and governmental heads of these countries has allowed me to have a unique understanding of the needs of law enforcement outside of the United States.  I believe that I can bring a fresh perspective of how the IACP can better serve our International colleagues.   

I proudly served as the President of the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police 2009-2010 (GACP) along with holding many committee appointments along the way.  I was honored as the Outstanding Chief of Police in 2012.  I am proud member of the 188th session of the FBINA and have served as our CALEA manager and assessor along with overseeing 8 of our 10 awards as the Covington Police Department celebrates 35 years as an accredited agency. 

I hold an Associates of Science, a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from Mercer University, a Master of Public Administration and a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from Troy University.  I have also served as an adjunct professor, international instructor, firearms instructor, and defensive tactics instructor.

I am honored to call myself a police officer and I still carry the same badge number I was proudly given on my first day on this job.  I have approached my career with a servants heart and I hope you will support my efforts to allow me to serve each and every one of you as 5th Vice President in 2021 when we all meet in New Orleans for our annual conference.  I would like to hear from you if you have any questions call me at 770-713-1001 or email me at

Visit my website at:

Contact Information

Twitter Handle: @Chiefscotton227

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