John Maynard, a 39-year-old veteran police officer, has been hired to lead Stapleton Police Department in the role of chief. A native of Metter and current resident of Bartow, Maynard has previously worked with other agencies, including two local ones.
Maynard graduated from Metter High School in 1999 and went on to take some college courses at Gainesville State College. In 2003, he realized a childhood dream as he began his policing career with Twin City Police Department. He worked for TCPD for two years, then joined Sylvania PD for two years.
Most of Maynard’s career so far, however, has been with Swainsboro Police Department. Over the almost five years he wore that badge, he worked his way to sergeant and night shift supervisor. He has earned several top shooting awards and was nominated for one of the highest awards of valor. The job, he says, is a “calling.”
“Just knowing you’re able to actually make a difference in someone’s life, those times when you find people or situations in a bad way and leave them better than you found them—that’s what I love about police work,” he said. “It’s also a great way for me to share Jesus with people because unfortunately, I see people at some of the lowest places in life.”
Still, the job comes with challenges. Those difficulties, combined with the fact that the proud spouse, involved father of four, and dedicated pastor wanted a more predictable, less demanding schedule that didn’t include holidays, nights, and weekends, led to Maynard walking away from the line of duty several times.
“One of the hard parts of being in law enforcement is you see people hurt a lot—not just physically hurt, but mentally and emotionally, too. Just seeing the evil in society and the pains that folks endure will change your life. Watching people die never gets easy. Seeing their family deal with that, knowing you did what you could, still sucks. The way some in society view law enforcement still blows my mind. I’ve worked in several agencies, and I’ve worked and trained with hundreds of officers all over this state and not one single officer has ever mentioned intentionally wanting to hurt anyone, anywhere at anytime! Yet, society paints police as murderers.”
So, what keeps him coming back? What made him want to pursue a bigger role in policing? Put simply, his love for servitude trumps the negatives.
“It’s just a passion. I’ve tried several times to leave and keep going back. Eventually, you’d think I’d give in and understand this is a calling.”
His initial introduction to Stapleton occurred in May 2019 through an acquaintance who knew the chief at the time, Robert Hoffman. Maynard had encountered the toughest call of his entire career just a month prior and thought maybe he needed a change in his life. That’s when he walked away from policing the last time until April 30, 2021 when he was offered the position of chief of Stapleton Police Department. His first day will be May 17.
To date, he holds numerous certifications. Some of the main ones include: field training officer, active shooter, field sobriety, ARIDE, supervision, crisis intervention, LIDAR, officer survival, advanced traffic law, RADAR, and intoxilyzer. Maynard is also trained as an NPQ Firefighter 1. He has close to 2,000 training hours altogether.
When asked what he felt would make him a good chief, Maynard said he will rely on his knowledge, passion for the job, and learning from previous experiences.
Stapleton PD, according to Maynard, doesn’t have a whole lot going on, which is a welcomed work environment for officers at certain points in their career. That said, he doesn’t intend to change much—but he will have some meaningful responsibilities, including recruiting, scheduling, state reporting, training of officers, court preparation, and all other facets of day-to-day operations.
In closing, Maynard is excited to assume the role of chief. While he has this platform, he has a message for the general public:
“There are thousands of wonderful men and women who do this job because they love it and they love their community. They know the risks involved. Yet, day after day, they lace their boots up, not knowing if it’ll be the last time they do it, all while working in a country that seemingly wants to do away with them, crucify them in the news, and put labels on them that 99 percent of them didn’t earn! Sounds like insanity, doesn’t it? This career chooses you; you don’t choose it. Most will never understand the weight of the badge. Just smile at them when you see them working. Wave. Just say thanks. These very simple gestures go so much further than you believe.”