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“Meet the Chief” Meeting May 4 for New Atwood Police Chief Joe Duncan

Atwood Police Chief Joe Duncan

Staff Writer

To answer many questions that I have been asked lately, “Yes, Atwood does have a new Police Chief and he is Joe Duncan of Shelbyville.” Village President Bill Fleming swore in Chief Duncan as the new chief in a special meeting on Monday, April 3.

Chief Duncan is excited about getting acquainted with Atwood residents. He is sponsoring a “Meet the Chief” community meeting on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. at the United Church of Atwood Fellowship Hall. Refreshments will be served by the ladies of the church.

During this meeting Duncan will give you more of his background. He will let everyone in on some of his goals and then open up the floor for residents to express areas of concerns they feel need to be addressed. It is important to know the local law enforcement and Chief Joe wants to get off on the right foot.

Joe resides in Shelbyville, but was born and raised in Jackson, MS. He served in the U.S. Army and Mississippi National Guard for eight years. In 1999 Joe began his law enforcement career in Jackson.

His dad lives in Murfreesboro, TN (Rutherford County). He found a better job opportunity in this area so he worked for the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office as a Sgt. on patrol & Tactical Operations from 2002-2013. The chief said he thought the Rutherford County area was beautiful and he enjoyed it, but moved here for family support with his children.

He worked as a police officer for the Decatur Police Department from 2013-2017. After leaving the Decatur Department, Joe made a career shift to EMS. He went to Richland Community College, obtained his EMT license and worked in the Emergency Room of HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital from 2019-2022.

Apparently once you are in law enforcement, it gets in your system. Joe decided to return to law enforcement since it is a tough time finding qualified law enforcement these days. He took a part-time job with the Findley Police Department and a full-time police officer at Altamont Police Department.

Joe’s wife Tabatha, a teacher in Early Childhood Education for Baby Talk in Decatur, happen to see Atwood’s advertisement for a full-time police officer and she encouraged Joe to apply. And as they always say, “The rest is history.”

Since Joe was hired, he has had a good impression of Atwood. He says the board and people he has met have been very supportive. He thinks Atwood is a friendly town.

Joe’s hours will typically be Monday-Friday with part-timers on weekends. Wayne Powell of Lovington will be one of the part-timers. He has three other officers who will fill in when needed.

For those who are on social media, there is now a FB page, Atwood Police Department. This will contain pertinent information.

The new police department is now in use at 112 S. Main St., Atwood. If you need to contact Chief Duncan, call 217-578-3141. If no one is available to answer, it will ring into the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. You can also e-mail at

Joe has seven children and one grandson, Elikai, 16 months old. His parents are Karen & Joey Myers of Florence, MS, and Tommy & Suzie Duncan of Murfreesboro, TN. Grandparents are Jimmy & Alice Drury of McKinney, TX and Claudia Duncan of Murfreesboro. They have been a great support in Joe’s life.

We welcome Chief Duncan to Atwood and encourage everyone to attend “Meet the Chief” meeting on Thursday, May 4, at 6 p.m. at the United Church of Atwood.

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