Doraville Police Chief and Brig. Gen. John King was appointed as Georgia’s insurance commissioner Wednesday and will be the state’s first Hispanic statewide constitutional officer.
King, who is also a Brenau University graduate, said he was looking forward to joining the Department of Insurance.
“I am grateful for Governor Brian Kemp and the opportunity he has given me to continue my service to the people of Georgia,” King said in a statement. “My decades of experience in law enforcement have prepared me for this important job in state government. I look forward to restoring trust in the Department of Insurance and providing leadership that protects consumers, promotes public safety, and provides a bright and promising future for all Georgians.”
Kemp appointed King to fill the seat vacated by Jim Beck, who was indicted on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.
King, who is originally from Mexico, is making history with the appointment.
“It’s truly amazing, and we commend Gov. Kemp for making that historic appointment,” said Jerry Gonzalez, executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials. “Chief King has served Doraville and this nation admirably, and I think he’ll continue to serve our state with great confidence and support from all Georgians.”
King began working with the Doraville Police Department in 1993 and became chief nine years later. In Doraville, he has implemented several youth education, crime prevention and anti-gang programs. To reach out to the city’s diverse population, he hired bilingual officers, placed signage in several languages on his fleet of police cars, and partnered with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to work on economic growth.
King has served in the military as a brigadier general in the U.S. Army National Guard and director of the joint staff for the Georgia Department of Defense. He is the former commander of the 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team and has deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Iraq and Afghanistan.
“John King is a decorated soldier, passionate community advocate, and devoted law enforcement leader with decades of experience,” Kemp said in a statement. “As Georgia’s next Insurance Commissioner and Safety Fire Official, John will put hardworking Georgians first by shaking up the status quo. He will restore faith in the Department of Insurance and will always do the right thing – even when no one is looking.”
King received his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice and public administration from Brenau and a master’s degree in strategic studies from the U.S. Army War College.