Former Cobb County chief of police named head of GBI

Michael Register was named by Gov. Brian Kemp to head of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

Register will replace Vic Reynolds, who was sworn in on Monday as a Superior Court Judge in Cobb County.

"Mike has a strong track record of strengthening public safety and protecting Georgia's communities," said Governor Brian Kemp. "I'm looking forward to his impact on this important agency that makes our entire state a safer and better place to live, work, and raise our families. I also want to thank Vic Reynolds for all of his contributions to the GBI during a critical time when the state faced and overcame the challenges presented by the summer of civil unrest and the pandemic. As he continues to serve his fellow Georgians in a new capacity, Marty and I wish him the very best and congratulate him on leaving an enduring mark on the agency."

Register’s long resume in law enforcement includes working for the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office as well as serving as the chief of police for Cobb and Clayton counties. During his time in Cobb County, he focused on improving relations between county police and a rapidly diversifying community. Register in 2019 was promoted to public safety director in Cobb County, overseeing police, fire and emergency management. Register stepped down from the public safety director’s position after only four months in 2019, saying he needed to move out of state for personal reasons.

Register returned to Georgia, becoming assistant chief of the Cobb County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail, guards courts and serves warrants in the county of more than 750,000 people.

Michael Register

Michael Register (FOX 5)

Register previously also served as an executive for a military contractor. He spent 23 years in the U.S. Army as a special forces engineer and special forces medic, including two combat tours in Afghanistan.

Register, if approved by the state public safety board, would take the reins at the 950-employee GBI at a time when Reynolds has focused on investigating gangs and lawmakers have tasked the agency with investigating election crimes. Many local agencies rely on GBI to help them investigate murders and other serious crimes, and the agency investigates almost all shootings by police officers. GBI also performs autopsies and runs the state’s crime lab.

GBI Assistant Director John Melvin will serve as Interim Director until Register is sworn into his new role.

The Associated Press contributed to this report