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Gina Hawkins is joining the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.
Gina Hawkins is joining the Cobb County Sheriff's Office. Graphic: Mónica Hernández/AL DÍA News.

Cobb County Sheriff’s Office appoints Afro-Latina as Assistant Chief Deputy

Gina Hawkins is a 30 plus-year veteran of law enforcement, and recently retired as the Police Chief of Fayetteville, North Carolina.

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Gina Hawkins is beginning her new role as Assistant Chief Deputy for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office on Monday, July 17.

She was appointed to the role by Cobb County Sheriff Craig Owens.

In a statement, Sheriff Owens described Chief Hawkins as “a visionary and trailblazing leader.”

“It made perfect sense to bring in an incredible leader with a commitment to 21st-century policing and law enforcement management to oversee our externally facing operations,” he added. 

Hawkins joins the department after serving as Police Chief of Fayetteville, North Carolina since 2017. She made history as the first woman and Afro-Latina to ever serve as Police Chief of Fayetteville, before retiring from the role in February 2023. 

She has served in law enforcement for more than 30 years. 

Hawkins began her career in 1988 with the City of Atlanta police department. Over 18 years with the department, she rose to the rank of Assistant Zone Commander and Lieutenant before departing in 2006. After that, she served 7 years as Captain of the Sandy Springs Police Department from 2006 to 2013. 

Her most recent role prior to becoming Police Chief of Fayetteville was as Deputy Chief of Police in Clayton County. 

When it comes to her new role, Hawkins has a personal connection and ties in with the very drive that has guided her throughout her career. 

“I am excited about the opportunity to return and serve in the community I raised my daughters,” said Hawkins to the Cobb County Courier. “I am humbled to be able to join the dedicated team at the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office and share Sheriff Owens’ commitment to transparent, community-oriented leadership.”

Hawkins is a graduate of the FBI National Associates Academy, and earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Georgia State University. She also holds a master’s degree in management from Johns Hopkins University. 

In addition to her new role, she also serves as the Vice President of the National Association of Women in Law Enforcement, is co-chair of the American Bar Association Criminal Justice Law Enforcement Exchange, Hispanic Police Command Officers Association and National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives. 

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