John Q has a public safety career that extends back 25 years. Since moving to Athens in the 90s, he has been dedicated to serving the community in many roles, including as a substitute school teacher, dispatcher, and law enforcement officer. He was sworn into the seat of Sheriff of Clarke County in 2021 and looks forward to serving the community in that capacity for years to come.
John lives on the Western side of Athens with his wife, Meshondra. Together they have a blended family including 3 daughters, 3 sons, and two grandchildren. Their kids are adults, but in lieu of an empty nest, they are pet parents of two amazing dogs.
John graduated from West Side Leadership Academy under the Gifted and Talented program in Gary, Indiana. Merely 3 days after graduating high school, he went on to participate in the George Washington Carver Leadership/Summer Enrichment Program at Iowa State University, a program designed to give an early start to rising leaders entering college. He took a break from college to work on building a better foundation for his growing family, which led him to Athens in 1997. He later earned his Bachelor’s Degree from Iowa State while working full-time. He has also attained a multitude of training certifications in the field of law enforcement and training education.
John’s first law enforcement job began in 1998 when he was hired as a dispatcher for the University of Georgia Police Department. He worked for four years as a dispatcher on campus, then worked in a similar position for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Following that, he returned to Clarke County in 2005, where he has lived ever since.
Once he returned to Athens, John accepted a leadership position as the Assistant Coordinator of Communications with the UGAPD, before pursuing other opportunities at the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in various roles. In 2012 he was awarded the distinction of being the ACCPD’s non-sworn employee of the year. Shortly afterward, he made the decision to become a POST-certified law enforcement officer. He started as a patrol officer and also served as the School Resource Officer for Cedar Shoals High School.
Quickly advancing through the ranks, he was promoted to Senior Patrol Officer, and assigned to the Career Development and Training Unit and was responsible for onboarding and guiding new recruits through the training process. Following that John was promoted to the rank of Corporal and put back out on patrol in 2017. He was then promoted to Sergeant in 2018, and assigned to the Criminal Investigations Division as a supervisor in Missing Person and Domestic Violence investigations. Between 2018 and the time he was elected Sheriff in 2020, he also served as a supervisor in the Training Unit, Professional Standards, and finally as the Public Information Officer. John is a jack-of-all-trades and considers his experience on all sides of the law enforcement process to be amongst the most valuable traits he brings to his current role as Sheriff of Clarke County.
Sheriff Williams serves on the Board of Directors for Georgia Conflict Center, Juvenile Offender Advocates, and the Boys and Girls Club of Athens.
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