2018-05-02 / Front Page

Public Safety overhaul

Having operated without a signed agreement since Janury 2018, steps were taken Monday to overhaul the Public safety agreement between the City, County and Sheriff.

“It has worked over the years because you wanted it to,” noted city attorney Tommy Coleman, who has issued the city several opinions since last year that the law enforcement consolidation agreement did not meet Georgia laws.

The Public Safety Board, which is composed of city and county officials along with the sheriff, agreed at Monday’s meeting to draft a contract for services between the city and county which would adhere to state law.

Exactly what impact or changes the overhaul will have on “Public Safety” as it has operated since it was organized in 2000 is not clear.

While a number of cities and counties had operating agreements in 2000, the Public Safety agreement signed by the city and county in 2000, with the leadership of Sheriff Jimmie Murkerson and Police Chief Charles Middleton, represented the first actual consolidation of city and county law enforcement in Georgia.

The police department and sheriff’s department had already consolidated all services and responsibilities — with exception of payroll — since 1989. At that time both maintained their own identities. That, too was a first in the state!

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