WARNER ROBINS, Ga. — UPDATE, 7 p.m.:
John Wagner spoke on his new appointment during the Warner Robins council meeting Monday evening.
“I’ll work hard for you. I’ll be fair and consistent,” Wagner affirmed. He stated that he wants the police department to change from being a "call-driven" department, and knows there will be a lot of work to do.
One of his main goals? Hire more officers.
"We need to grow," he said. "We got behind when the city grew just exponentially so it's time to become a more robust police department. We've been call-driven for years and we have to get to the point where we become proactive again."
He added that he intends to lead his department from the front.
"Some people say, 'Don't forget where you came from.' I won't. I remember in the Marine Corps, no matter your specialty, at the end of the day, we were all basic riflemen," said Wagner. "After 28 years, I can still put on my gun belt, get in a car, and answer calls."
Wagner was given a standing ovation after the official appointment, during which his wife presented him with his badge.
On Monday night, after roughly five months in an acting role, John Wagner is expected to be appointed as the full-time Warner Robins police chief, according to Mayor Randy Toms.
The vote to appoint him is planned to take place at Monday’s city council meeting, and Toms say he thinks it will be unanimous.
Wagner became the department’s acting chief after long-time chief Brett Evans was pushed out in early March.
According to his profile online, he's been with the department nearly as long as Evans -- almost 28 years.
He rose up from patrolman to investigator, to squad commander and major. He's been assistant police chief since 2012.
Wagner is a Northside High School graduate and he spent seven years in the Marines. When he’s off the job, he also referees soccer games.