County Police?!?! Where's your brain?

Let’s see, hire a police chief to be accountable to the Commission who is accountable to the electorate. Sounds like a duplication of service in itself. Let's not create a middle man; the power of the Sheriff is derived DIRECTLY from the people, not the Commission. Anybody remember the stink caused by Commissioner VanLandingham using the ambulance to go to the hospital? These are the types of things that happen when you take the boss and give him five bosses. Instead of taking action and getting the job done, you get a bureaucrat, a yes man that just wants to keep his favor with the commissioners. An elected sheriff does things the way HE wants to do them (if you’re the type to be offended that I didn’t say he/she then I’m not surprised you want a county police force) not the way five people can agree on.
The people in Fayette County that want a County Police really surprise me. It would seem as though they want more bureaucracy. If you think the size of government is what keeps you safe, your wrong. The Fayette County Sheriff is one of the best in the entire State of Georgia! Ask other law enforcement officials in the area what they think of Sheriff Johnson. In Clayton County, they wish they had Sheriff Johnson. If you have your head in the sand and don’t think Clayton County’s crime is pouring into ours, spend some time at the Pavilion or just hang out at the old J&R complex and watch the fun (just stay low).
If you hope for a County Police I hope you get what you wish for just so you will recognize what you had. It just seems like the easy thing to do, make a big change and the problems will just go away…reality does not work like that. The reality is the current County Commission is obstructing the Sheriff. The Feds oversee all money spent, there is no reason for Greg Dunn to get his nose in it. The Sheriff is independent of the commission. We don’t ask the School Board to route their budget through the Commission. The State of Georgia doesn’t ask Greg Dunn for his oversight for the local State Patrol office. Sheriff Johnson is a CONSTITUTIONAL officer. He is to be trusted. If he does something to violate our trust, we can take care of it by using our vote. Let the people be in control! Don’t give your authority to Greg Dunn!

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Leoah Whineknott's picture
Submitted by Leoah Whineknott on Mon, 01/09/2006 - 1:10am.

I don't believe in trusting ANY elected official who won't share information the public should be entitled to have. But, if we could just drop the Johnson vs. Dunn argument for a while, I would be interested in hearing what you have to say about a County Police Department vs. a County Sheriff Department. What's the difference?

Am I correct in assuming that the funding source would remain the same? The County Commission would continue to allocate funds and approve the budget?

If the Sheriff is a Constitutional Officer does that mean we would HAVE to continue electing a Sheriff and end up with a duplication of services if we created a County Police Department? Or, would the Sheriff just end up serving warrants and running the jail?

What about qualifications? Does the Sheriff have to have law enforcement experience to qualify for office or does he basically just have to win the popularity contest and be elected? Could someone like Steve Brown run for office?! Yikes!!

You mentioned Clayton County. Wouldn’t having a County Police Department eliminate the possibility of history repeating itself here?

And, what about the employees? Are the Sheriff’s Deputies County Employees with County benefits? Would it affect them one way or another if their boss was hired vs. elected? Other than loyalty they might feel toward Johnson, what differance would it make to them?

Leoah Whineknott

Submitted by Concerned Citizen on Tue, 01/10/2006 - 5:45pm.

The “popularity contest” you mentioned is a tad more important. But under the system you propose, the Sheriff would run the jail and a police chief would be appointed by the Commission just like the cities. If you think the cities have it so great then maybe you should ask Johnny Roberts….oh yea, he hid behind the city manager and mayor as he did his deeds (no opportunity to vote him out years ago). How about PTC? Steve Brown was Jim Murray’s BOSS for how many years? Police Chief’s have to make elected officials happy, Sheriff’s serve the people.

Our current Sheriff is a straight talking, no nonsense cop. He gets the job done and needs not report to professional micro-managers like Dunn. Let the Sheriff do his job; if you really believe that he is stealing funds or hiding money than you obviously don’t trust him and didn’t vote for him. The majority of the citizens of this county did vote for him and do trust him. He needs not report to Greg Dunn. If you don’t like it, get your own Sheriff elected. Fayette County has trusted Sheriff Johnson for decades, no reason to stop now.

Leoah Whineknott's picture
Submitted by Leoah Whineknott on Wed, 01/11/2006 - 5:36pm.

How we feel about Johnson doesn't matter because he isn't going to be around forever. I was interested in a point someone else made about starting a County Police Department. Since you seemed to know a little bit about the issue, I was asking for your opinion about the pros and cons of Police vs. Sheriff. How would it work? Or, why wouldn't it work? I’m on the fence on that issue. There seems to be a lot to consider.

But, since you continue to be focused on Johnson "The Man" instead of the questions I asked, I'd like you to know that I DID vote for Sheriff Johnson and I DON'T believe he is stealing funds. I never said anything like that. But, I certainly will NOT vote for him again because he is NOT the straight talking, no nonsense cop you describe. If he were, he wouldn't be withholding information and refusing to cooperate with other elected officials. Never trust anyone who says "Trust me." If a man’s character and actions can’t speak loud enough on their own merit, then the words are futile.


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