Sheriff candidate Simmons pledges to implement community policing here

Tue, 03/11/2008 - 3:52pm
By: Letters to the ...

Since announcing my candidacy for the Republican nomination for Fayette County sheriff on Nov. 30, 2007, I have been meeting with citizens and business owners in an effort to gather their opinions on public safety.

From these meetings, citizens and business owners have informed me that they would like to be kept better informed about public safety issues in the county. Long-time residents of Fayette County have informed me that they are alarmed by the current level of criminal activity occurring in the county. Many of them have informed me that they want a more proactive approach to dealing with crime in the county.

Since December 2007, county residents have read reports of the smash and grab burglary of 86 guns from Autrey’s Armory, the smash and grab thefts of flat screen TVs from area businesses.

In early January 2008, residents were informed of gang activity at Fayette County High School. On Feb. 5, 2008, flat screen burglars struck again in Fayetteville, breaking into the Applebee’s restaurant and taking two TVs.

Last weekend, it was reported that burglars hit the two gas stations in Tyrone. It also appears that thieves have also been active in our area stealing catalytic converters from automobiles. Several residents and business owners have reported to me that catalytic converters have been stolen from their vehicles. A repair shop in our area has informed me that they have been replacing stolen catalytic converters for approximately a year.

The converter is part of the exhaust system and cleans the air that comes from your vehicle. Thieves want it because some converters contain platinum,, which they can cash in on.

I have been informed that thieves sell the converters for approximately $200. It costs approximately $1,000 to replace a stolen catalytic converter.

In an effort to keep citizens and business owners abreast of public safety issues, when I am elected to serve as the sheriff of Fayette County, I will implement a comprehensive community policing program in the department.

Community policing is a policing philosophy that promotes and supports organizational strategies to address the causes and reduce the fear of crime and social disorder through problem-solving tactics and police-community partnerships.

Community policing focuses on crime and social disorder through the delivery of police services that includes aspects of traditional law enforcement, as well as prevention, problem-solving, community engagement, and partnerships.

The community policing model balances reactive responses to calls for service with proactive problem-solving centered on the causes of crime and disorder. Community policing requires police and citizens to join together as partners in the course of both identifying and effectively addressing these issues.

A major component of the community policing program will be the creation of a Crime Prevention Unit in the sheriff’s department. All department personnel will be trained in the concepts of proactive crime prevention. The Crime Prevention Unit will conduct crime prevention training courses that will be offered to citizens and business owners.

When elected, I will create citizen advisory councils, which will be composed of community leaders and business owners from various sections of the county. I will meet with these groups on a regular basis in order to create/sustain a good working relationship and understanding of law enforcement activity in the community.

Additionally, I hope to join forces with local chiefs of police to initiate proactive innovative deployment strategies aimed at apprehending criminals, and deterring criminal activity in their jurisdictions. Many of these strategies are commonly used in large urban areas to suppress criminal activity.

Further, using my experience in security management, I will initiate partnerships with the directors of security of the major retail establishments in the county to develop crime prevention programs to better protect our residents and visitors who shop in their stores.

When I am elected, I will create a unit in the Sheriff’s Department to suppress youth gang activity. I will offer gang prevention training programs to parents, school officials, and youths that address the following topics: what are they, how do we identify them, why kids join a gang, and the hazards of being involved in a gang.

In 1976, when our current sheriff was elected, Fayette County’s population stood at approximately 28,000 residents. Today, more than 105,000 residents live in the county. Many of our residents moved to Fayette County from other areas of metropolitan Atlanta, seeking a better quality of life. Hundreds of new businesses have moved here.

Fayette County is now a thriving, healthy, and culturally diverse community. Each day thousands of visitors travel to Fayette County to shop at our retail establishments.

However, the expansion of retail businesses in our area has also attracted many criminals to the county. For years Fayette County residents have been told that criminals feared crossing Ga. Highway 138. However, it now appears that criminals feel quite comfortable entering the county to commit crimes. Strong enforcement programs must be initiated to deter criminal activity in our county.

The next sheriff will be faced with many challenges. Fayette County will need a qualified administrator who has the skills, experience and education to suppress crime in the county, and manage the department’s nearly $14 million budget. There will be no time for on the job training.

Please join me in the fight to preserve our peaceful way of life. Community involvement is the key to resolving the current problems we face in our community, by working as a “TEAM, Together Everyone Achieves More.”

To learn more about my candidacy, or to volunteer to work on the campaign or to make a contribution, please visit my website at I can be contacted by email at or by phone at 770-716-9088.

Dave Simmons

2008 Republican candidate for Fayette County sheriff

Fayetteville, Ga.

login to post comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
youdontsay's picture
Submitted by youdontsay on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 11:51am.

You have a lot more than the community to worry about the internal turmoil is a major issue with in the Sheriff's Department the "Good Ole Boy" system runs deep there and unless you are part of that you don't stand a chance. They rule by fear and intimidation on a regular basis. If you are elected getting your command structure Captains, LT's and above straightened out will be a much bigger job than you are aware of. All I can say is my hats off to you and good luck.

Submitted by justcurious on Tue, 03/18/2008 - 5:27pm.

That's what I've been preaching about for weeks - there are a few decent people in the sheriff's department, but in order to have any kind of change - the new sheriff will need to clean house - out with the old, in with the new. It's time for a change - good luck with the election, you've got my vote!

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.