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Grovetown police chief resigns

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Grovetown Department of Public Safety Director Gary Owens resigned his position Friday.

Gary Owens, Director of the Grovetown Department of Public Safety, turned in his resignation to the mayor of Grovetown several days after being suspended for two days for misconduct.   FILE/STAFF
FILE/STAFF
Gary Owens, Director of the Grovetown Department of Public Safety, turned in his resignation to the mayor of Grovetown several days after being suspended for two days for misconduct.


Owens submitted his letter of resignation to city officials.
“He indicated that he was ready to pursue other opportunities,” Mayor George James said.

Owens took over as director of the department in June 2012 after the resignation of former Director Al Robinson.

Owens’ resignation comes two weeks after he was suspended for two days for misconduct in the search for two men who escaped from the department’s temporary detention facility July 26.

“He created a hostile work environment for his employees by his actions,” James said at the time. “He hindered the operation of recovering the two escapees.”

Sam Cline Jr., a man arrested on suspicion of aiding the escapees after providing them a ride to a nearby bar, said he did so not knowing they were wanted. He submitted petitions to city officials Wednesday to have Owens and an investigator terminated. He claimed Owens cursed and yelled at him and did not let him speak. Cline spent 21 days in jail without bond.

“I hate for anybody to lose their job at this point,” Cline said. “But if you can’t do your job, stay out of the kitchen.”

Owens started with the department as a part-time dispatcher in 1983. He became a certified police officer in 1986 and served the department for nine years before taking other jobs for the Georgia Department of Corrections in Atlanta and the Atlanta Olympics internal police force.

He worked for the corrections department in Augusta for a few years before returning to Grovetown as assistant chief in 2001.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your Director of Public Safety,” Owens wrote in his resignation letter. “I am very proud of all the accomplishments and achievements that have been made in my tenure and know that the Department of Public Safety will continue to achieve excellence with the ground work that has began.”

James said that until a replacement has been found, captains in the department will manage their own divisions and report to the city manager.

No plans have been made as to how or when a replacement will be hired.

“The council has got to get together and meet to determine how we are going to approach it,” James said.

Comments (12) Add comment
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corgimom
36683
Points
corgimom 08/22/14 - 03:30 pm
3
3
Uh huh, I think the Grovetown

Uh huh, I think the Grovetown city officials are ready for him to do it, too.

Wonder what got him fired- the jailbreak, or the swearing at the dispatcher?

I think probably both.

nocnoc
47175
Points
nocnoc 08/22/14 - 04:06 pm
4
2
THE 5th SAFEST CITY IN GA Just lost its Chief.

I have to wonder where they will rank next year?

BTW:
Punishment is best handled lightly, quietly and less politically.

Right now I am wondering if a Grovetown Commissioner has a
relative on the ARC Commission?

corgimom
36683
Points
corgimom 08/22/14 - 04:19 pm
2
5
noc noc, this isn't

noc noc, this isn't punishment. He doesn't need to be a police chief.

If one of his employees had sworn at him, do you think he'd be ok with that?

People deserve to have a work environment free of harassment, abuse, and intimidation.

It was either he go, or Grovetown would've been paying big bucks in a lawsuit.

flipa1
2746
Points
flipa1 08/22/14 - 04:22 pm
2
3
We regret seeing Chief Owens

We regret seeing Chief Owens leave but know he will advance the next agency he is hired on to. God Bless your Heart Gary, may the road rise to meet you brother, we understand....

sugarbutton
1138
Points
sugarbutton 08/22/14 - 05:06 pm
3
0
Grovetown does not

Grovetown does not have commissioners. We have a mayor and city council who are elected. Get it right if you want to make a comment.
If you want to run it down....doing it with a tad of intellect and truth would be good too. People might even listen now and again.

bclicious
756
Points
bclicious 08/22/14 - 05:27 pm
3
0
Gary Owens was trash

Really? Just as a person who thinks highly of Gary Owens can make a comment about how good he was, I can make a comment about how bad he was. It's an equal playing field.

I had the unfortunate opportunity while working in law enforcement, to speak with Gary several times in about 14 years. He was conceded, rude, deceitful, and spoke to his personnel like dogs. On the other hand; Officers Rocky, AJ Greene, and Eastman are top notch, and nothing like this ill-mannered, and downright hateful man.

I would like to congratulate Grovetown for wiping the proverbial MUCK (Gary Owens) from beneath their shoes. It may say that he resigned, but anybody who has been in law enforcement for any length of time will tell you, sometimes people are given the opportunity to resign or be fired.

Now if they just get rid of that guy Bill Wood. He is a man of an equally low caliber as Gary Owens.

Goodbye Gary Owens; you will not be missed!

corgimom
36683
Points
corgimom 08/22/14 - 05:26 pm
1
3
Personally, I think the man

Personally, I think the man needs help, and I hope he gets it. If this is the way he is, he doesn't need to be in police work or have arrest powers until he can regain his self-control and stop abusing people.

If he will abuse an employee, he will abuse a suspect, too.

flipa1
2746
Points
flipa1 08/22/14 - 11:00 pm
4
2
We've known Gary Owens for

We've known Gary Owens for many years. He has never EVER raised his voice or been mean to U.S. even once. Maybe it’s because we NEVER let 2 prisoners endanger an ENTIRE REGION. He pulled me over for zipping around a pothole real quick, but once he saw it was a porche' and it was a big pothole he understood. He's been a prince around U.S. So who is it that caused all this in the first place by leaving the prisoners out in a yard UNSUPERVISED where all they had to do was hop the fence.????? Who is that? Why don't we know which officer CAUSED all this???? That’s the question that sailed over ALL your heads.

dlnga
40
Points
dlnga 08/23/14 - 02:11 am
2
0
Guess the rumors were

Guess the rumors were true...Buzz is that the chief of a nearby city has already been in talks about replacing him...Owens saw the writing on the wall...Guess they can call off that special council meeting on Monday...

bclicious
756
Points
bclicious 08/23/14 - 03:36 am
2
0
Dinga; I hope so

If it's the guy I'm think of; I wouldn't be surprised at all. The man has been making a lot of progress, but I think he would do better in Grovetown. I hope he takes it, and leaves that very nearby, but unmentioned city.

csraguy
2358
Points
csraguy 08/23/14 - 01:45 pm
2
0
Treat Employees Well

No boss or commander has the right to intimidate, harass, cuss at or act like a raving lunatic at anytime under any circumstances towards their employees, including police officers.

All of these old school so called leaders should be ushered out the door as soon as possible.

corgimom
36683
Points
corgimom 08/23/14 - 04:08 pm
0
0
Flipa, good for you. But

Flipa, good for you.

But employers are no longer allowed to abuse employees when they are "upset".

He is unprofessional, and needs to go.

Police officers are given lots of power. And with that power, comes a responsibility not to abuse people.

How would he be able to discipline an officer for unprofessionalism and losing control when he didn't have it himself?

Answer: he couldn't.

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