John Sell was named the Director of Public Affairs of the Atlanta Police Department in March 2017. He brings more than 30 years of experience in media relations, public affairs and newspapers to the position. The Public Affairs Unit serves as a liaison between the Atlanta Police Department, the community, and the news media, to provide timely, accurate and useful information about significant events. The Director of Public Affairs also advises the Chief of Police and the command staff on public opinion and news media responses regarding departmental issues. The unit also processes Open Record Requests for the department.
Prior to his current position, he was most recently Georgia Power’s External Affairs Area Manager in the Douglas, Paulding and South Cobb area. He oversaw a 60-person operating headquarters that included engineers, line crew, metering, customer service, fleet, and supply chain operations to provide electrical service. As the face of Georgia Power in the community, he served on the Douglas County Economic Development Authority, the Douglas County Chamber of Commerce, the Boys and Girls of Metro Atlanta – Douglas County Advisory Board, the Douglas County advisory council of the United Way, the Wellstar-Douglas Advisory Board, and was an active member and former President of the Douglas County Kiwanis Club. He also served on the board of the Cobb County Chamber of Commerce, the South Cobb Business Association, and MUST Ministries. He is a graduate of both Leadership Douglas and Leadership Cobb.
Additionally, Sell spent 11 years in the media relations department at Georgia Power, including seven as the manager. In that role, he was the lead spokesperson for the company on a variety of issues including Public Service Commission filings, environmental issues, transmission siting issues, storm damage and restoration and day-to-day operations of the electric utility.
Prior to Georgia Power, Sell was the editor/publisher of the Decatur-DeKalb News/Era. He has also worked for newspapers in Yuma, AZ, and Ketchikan, AK.
Sell is also a veteran of the U.S. Army having earned the rank of Sergeant while serving at Ft. Clayton, Republic of Panama, and Ft. Bragg, N.C.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Eastern Washington University and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Oklahoma.