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Washington Police Department defunded, closed by Council vote

Thursday, July 17, 2014 10:56 PM
Last updated Friday, July 18, 2014 7:09 PM
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The Washington, Georgia police department is no more.

Washington City Council voted 4-3 to defund the police department at Thursday night’s meeting, with Mayor Ames Barnett breaking the 3-3 council member tie. Members of council and Mayor Barnett debated for numerous weeks about closing the department in an effort to cut costs to balance the city’s budget. The department closed Friday, leaving 14 employees without jobs.

Police department members resigned at the meeting. Mayor Barnett said some employees will be hired by the sheriff’s department, which will take over patrolling the streets of Washington along with troopers from Georgia State Patrol.

Residents against closing the department had held a rally and marched Thursday on the courthouse square.

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geecheeriverman
2400
Points
geecheeriverman 07/18/14 - 04:41 am
1
4
protest

This is not over. Wait until the blacks start protesting and demanding a federal investigation. Something like "violation of civil rights" "racism" etc.

Riverman1
83544
Points
Riverman1 07/18/14 - 08:16 am
7
0
Makes Sense

If they don't think they can afford a police department, more power to them to do away with it. A simple concept if you can't pay for it.

my.voice
4803
Points
my.voice 07/18/14 - 08:21 am
5
0
Seems more governments should

Seems more governments should see this article.

seenitB4
86788
Points
seenitB4 07/18/14 - 08:44 am
5
1
Hmmm

Don't think ya need to advertise this...

bright idea
814
Points
bright idea 07/18/14 - 10:13 am
7
1
More to this than $$$

Reduce the department maybe but eliminate it? I saw an outside agitator was involved so it all adds up to politics.

bdouglas
4975
Points
bdouglas 07/18/14 - 11:25 am
7
0
Seems a bit dirty to put 14

Seems a bit dirty to put 14 people out of jobs with 24 hours notice. A more informative story from another local news source said this would save the town $100,000 a year. Begs the question of how you can get rid of 14 salaries and only save $100K a year. What was that, the chief and 2 officers...all with crappy pay?

dichotomy
32737
Points
dichotomy 07/18/14 - 11:51 am
5
0
I think they will reimburse

I think they will reimburse the county sheriff's department some amount to patrol their city and the total savings after paying for that service is $100,000.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
7663
Points
ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 07/18/14 - 12:34 pm
6
0
The salaries would be over $100,000 for 6 months

The salaries would be over $100,000 for 6 months not to mention the vehicles, fuel and maintenance and equipment. I believe there was politics involved, a councilperson relative being arrested maybe!! You can bet politics are involved and that by years end they'll have a new chief and department.......

historylover
8452
Points
historylover 07/18/14 - 12:52 pm
1
7
Poor coverage

This very small write up in the AC is not representative at all of what just happened in Washington, GA. We have, as former Lincoln County residents, been following this story from the beginning. There was a lot more information that has been conveniently left out. Very poor reporting AC!

I guess it didn't involve any way to slam the President, so it wasn't worth reporting?

carolouk
42
Points
carolouk 07/18/14 - 01:16 pm
5
0
24 Hour Notice is a disgrace

These folks have covered your butts and helped you out. The LEAST you could do is give them the same 30 day notice you would expect from them. Give them time to find a new job (unless they got a guarantee from the Sherriff to hire all who wanted jobs). I feel for these police officers and their families.

itsanotherday1
42883
Points
itsanotherday1 07/18/14 - 02:45 pm
4
0
Soooo, what were the politics

Soooo, what were the politics involved?

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 07/18/14 - 06:05 pm
4
0
The Sheriff's office will

The Sheriff's office will have to hire additional deputies to cover the city limits; so those officer's on WPD who were good officer's will probably have jobs with the S.O. This isn't all that usual or unheard of, the Sheriff's Office will just take over the LE in the city. The Sheriff is the highest rank LE officer in a County anyway and is ultimately responsible for LE in his County!! It's up to Cities to decide to create a City Police department and it's up to them whether to keep one. If the people don't like it, they can voice their opinions at the counsil meeting.

jimmymac
39174
Points
jimmymac 07/18/14 - 06:56 pm
0
0
CUTS
Unpublished

It's not that unusual for small towns and cities strapped for cash to go this route. It sucks that the LEO's and staff weren't given more notice however. Many small towns supplement their budget by being speed traps. The people of Washington don't need that.

bdouglas
4975
Points
bdouglas 07/18/14 - 10:10 pm
2
0
Seems my original post was

Seems my original post was deleted... WRDW covered this a bit more thoroughly and had comments SUPPORTIVE of the police department by the very person who had been arrested multiple time and is related to a councilperson there.

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