PTC picks new police chief

Thu, 03/20/2008 - 6:27pm
By: The Citizen

H.C. 'Skip' Clark to be sworn in April 18

As expected, Halifax C. “Skip” Clark was voted in tonight as Peachtree City’s newest police chief.

Clark, who is currently chief of the Juno Beach (Fla.) police department, was announced several weeks ago as the only candidate that hadn’t dropped out of the race among a field of 35 applicants. Council voted unanimously to appoint him as police chief.

Mayor Harold Logsdon said he felt the council made an excellent choice in Clark, and he joined Councilwoman Cyndi Plunkett in lauding staff for their hard work to narrow down the pool of applicants.

Plunkett said Clark got very high marks from all council members in scoring that took place after the top four candidates were interviewed by council in executive (closed) session.

Clark recently told The Citizen that he wanted to continue building on the excellent work of the department. He has also said he would like to consider putting video surveillance cameras on the city’s cart path system in an effort to deter potential crime.

Clark said he’d like to consider creating a citizen’s patrol of the path system as well.

Several weeks ago the police department announced they have a plan to beef up patrol of the 90-plus mile cart path system by using all terrain vehicles (ATVs) manned by officers working overtime. Using overtime is cheaper than hiring new personnel for the detail, according to police Maj. Mike DuPree.

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outraged citizen's picture
Submitted by outraged citizen on Wed, 04/30/2008 - 10:56pm.

i think the cameras are a stupid idea.i hope they dont work for anyone.

Submitted by Pat Riot on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 12:57pm.

So let's play a game called city council. The objective is to pick the best candidate to become the police chief of a town with more than 35,000 residents and a police staff of over 65. The town is a prospering 24 acre planned community with miles of cart paths. The town citizens could be categorized as young and active with a large youth population that supports one of the most active recreation programs in the state. So it's time to review the candidates. One of them is Skip Clark. He runs a police force of 15 in a beach community (Juno Beach) with a population just over 3600 residents whose median age is 60. The town he protects is less than 1/12 the size of Peachtree City and doesn’t have a single foot of golf cart trials. So naturally you think no way this guy could make the cut, right? But wait, the town he watches over is a magnet for nesting sea turtles and he has his masters, oh and Juno Beach and Peachtree City were both planned under the ownership of Bessemer Properties. Somehow this changes your mind and you select him as the best candidate. Yeah, you lose the game. PTC is now much less secure. Thanks!

SLUF's picture
Submitted by SLUF on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 9:30am.

Why not give the guy a chance? Not all cities are the same size as PTC and most do not include golf cart trails, so why not give this guy a shot? Maybe he can come here with some fresh ideas. It seems fishy to me that everyone is blasting the new guy before he even makes any changes or decisions here about which direction to take the PD. In any case you should at least show some respect and maybe even some old fashioned southern charm welcoming him to this city.

Submitted by PTCitizen on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 10:39am.

I agree, give the guy a chance. We let senators and governors and such come from governing a state (or something smaller) to being the president of the United States - and sometimes they do very well. So if you look at it that way, 1/12 isn't nearly as big a jump as 1/50 now is it? It's the ability to lead, provide effective management practices, and foster progressive ideas that will make a good Chief for PTC I believe. So far, I don't think we can count this guy out on those things. If you stick to the basics, those things are the same rather you lead 15 people or 100,000 people.
I will say one more thing - my main hope for the new Chief is that he brings some tough law enforcement back to Peachtree City so it will get back to they way it was when I came here. I don't know if it was because of declining leadership, poor morale, or all the constantly whining people, but PTC seems to have lost it's (seemingly) inpenetrable bubble agasint crime that it used to have. It seems to me that it may be because they have been a lot softer on crime as opposed to the old days. Of course the general public opinion will always be somewhat guided by what the village idiot (criminal) is whining about in the newspaper (i.e. my teenager got harrassed, or I got a speeding ticket), but in reality the rest of us law abiding citizens should see what is really happening. Anyway, that's just my two cents worth.

NUK_1's picture
Submitted by NUK_1 on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 9:38am.

I agree. Also, if Mayor/Council/Bernie continually rejects budgets that include more personnel that could be utilized for the patrolling of golf cart paths regularly, nothing will change in that regard. To be fair to the current stooges involved, they weren't the first that rejected PD's request for more personnel as that's been occurring for years. Seems the little problem of needing more money through increased taxes or cutting services somewhere else gets in the way of adding PD personnel.

The people of PTC need to get with reality and understand that services cost money. That means you can't have it all without paying for it. OK, maybe W and the national Repubs have fooled you into thinking you can, but you cannot do that locally. There are quite a few residents that also wouldn't support their property taxes going up a nickel for any reason whatsoever. They'd rather their home values drop so their taxes would be lower. Yes, your neighbors may indeed be this stupid!

muddle's picture
Submitted by muddle on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 1:21pm.

All I know is that I would like to arrange a house swap with him.

Juno is one of my old surfing spots--often the first place that was breaking at all as we headed up the coast from S. Florida in search of rideable waves.

Hey, Skip, can you help a surfing philosopher find work in the Juno area? In turn, I'll help you settle in here.

yardman5508's picture
Submitted by yardman5508 on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 1:12pm.

what of the others? Could not this candidate be the best of the candidates available? You have not given us enough information with which to make the decision. Keep the faith.

Democracy is not a spectator sport.

Submitted by The Last Don on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 9:51am.

This mornings AJC reported that the new chief would be leaving a department with less personnel, this is okay. What I don't understand is him taking a paycut of approximately $22,000 to take the position. He was reported to be making $112,000 in Juno and would be paid around $90,000 for the PTC position. In addition, Florida has no state income tax. A bit odd...

Submitted by flip212 on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 1:14pm.

Hummm…..larger (area) city responsibility, almost 5 times increase in personnel responsibilities, 28+ years current tenure (when do police retire), wealthy resort community vs. a real life city…all for less $$$.

Submitted by sageadvice on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 2:53pm.

I don't understand how your implication that cops can carry pension seniority around with them works!

No corporation does that, do they?

Is it a national pension plan for ALL cops, where one year in Podunk, KY serves toward a pension as well as for a Los Angeles cop?


Submitted by flip212 on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 9:23pm.

Its called retirement...he retires from Juno, collects his benifits and comes here, takes a pay cut.

Murray did the same thing from Savanna.

Submitted by flip212 on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 1:06pm.

Based upon the sensitive nature of camera use in the local Atlanta news this week, the new chief may want to re-think the use of camera's on the cart paths.

Here are results of a MSN on-line survey!

Should police issue red light tickets using cameras?
* 18455 responses

Yes; the presence of cameras reduces violations and injuries.

No; cameras are an invasion of privacy and produce unconstitutional evidence.

Submitted by 30YearResident on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 6:01pm.

Cameras are installed as "Revenue Generators", pure and simple. This is what the PTC police department has become, a cash cow for the city. Red light cameras allow them to increase this revenue flow without paying overtime or benefits.

To "Protect, Serve and Generate A Profit" should be painted on the side of every PTC vehicle.

Robert W. Morgan's picture
Submitted by Robert W. Morgan on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 4:35am.

Actually 4 of us - all live on the cart path chipped in a couple of hundred dollars and we cover both ends of of a very busy section of the cart path and our own back yards. Ours is hardwired, but I think you can get them that transmit remotely. We get a 48-hour loop and one of us is usually available to log on and look at it immediately if there is a disturbance or we can just go back and search for the time something happened. Twice we turned this over to the police - one was an accident and the other is still pending, but will front page here when it comes out.

The new chief wants citizens to help patrol the cart paths and this is one way for those who may not be up to walking several miles a day.

We have also used this to confront neighbors kids and their parents when we record rock-throwing and public urination. It always starts out the same way "My kid would never do that"; view tape then silence and we leave. Gotta love it unless it is your kid.

RMEAV8R's picture
Submitted by RMEAV8R on Mon, 03/24/2008 - 1:54pm.

Can you tell me where you purchased the cams? I have a few "Sleeper Cells" of Peachtree City's "Little Angels" in the surrounding neighborhoods that frequent the trail directly behind my house. Fence has been hit by golf cart (driver looked all of 10 years old), dog is tormented relentlessly... no rocks yet thank god!

I wish I knew what a pain that trail is before I bought my home.

“Once in, you’ve got to see it through. You’ve got to perform without flinching whatever duty is assigned you, regardless of the difficulty or the danger attending it.”
Theodore Roosevelt, Remarks to Recruits, circa 1898

wulfman's picture
Submitted by wulfman on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 7:45am.

Yeah, we have quite a few of those little angels that never do anything wrong living in our neighborhood. Installing yard and path cams is a great idea. Several of our neighbors have had their yards damaged by these little angels driving through their yards on golf carts to reach the cart path. Others have had fence damaged. One homeowner complained to the kid’s parents and the next week had a rock thrown through her window.

Submitted by skyspy on Sun, 03/23/2008 - 5:23am.

I know several people who have them as well. You can get wireless remote like the Timberlake people have. They get reinbursed for property damage now, they never used to before. I guess they pay for themselves.

It is a shame that it has come to this in PTC. I know kids misbehave everywhere, but we seem to have more than our fair share of bad kids.

TinCan's picture
Submitted by TinCan on Fri, 03/21/2008 - 1:46pm.

All that means is that 38% of the people stop when they should and 62% run the lights.

Submitted by skyspy on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 9:05pm.

If you aren't doing anything wrong security cameras shouldn't bother you. On the other hand if you know your satanic little brats are causing a lot of property damage, maybe you should worry.

BPR's picture
Submitted by BPR on Sat, 03/22/2008 - 9:30pm.

I agree with you, if nothing is being done wrong, nobody should mind them. PTC is growing and I think it is a good thing for safety. Kids drive golf carts and maybe if they know they are being watched they may think twice before doing something. Oh, my son knows what will happen if he even thinks or does something. With cameras they can't deny it happened.

We Will Stand

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