Chief of police resigns

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The Harlem Department of Public Safety director resigned Friday after authorities say he was caught shoplifting from the Evans Wal-Mart.

Employees watched Jerry Baldwin, 47, of Trippe Street, try to leave the store at 4 p.m. Thursday with less than $13 worth of items concealed in his pockets, Columbia County sheriff's Capt. Steve Morris said.

"I'm not going to say I didn't do anything wrong," said Mr. Baldwin, who was hired as police chief in November 2001. "I shouldn't have done what I did."

Mr. Baldwin had gum, tarter sauce, Crystal Light and jelly in his pockets, but he paid for other items in his shopping cart. When he left the store at 4469 Washington Road, loss prevention employees stopped him and escorted him to the store office, Capt. Morris said.

Mr. Baldwin handed over the stolen items. Capt. Morris said Mr. Baldwin told the loss prevention officer, "I did have the money. It was just a stupid thing I did."

Wal-Mart declined to press charges, and Mr. Baldwin agreed not to return to the store.

"The law is the law," Mr. Baldwin said. "And I've got to suffer the consequences like everybody else."

Assistant Chief Chuck Meadows will serve as interim director, said Harlem City Manager Jean Dove. Officials will soon begin the application process to hire another director, she said.

Reach Valerie Rowell at 868-1222, ext. 110, or valerie.rowell@augustachronicle.com.

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rtkguy
3
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rtkguy 01/24/09 - 03:54 am
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I have lived in Harlem for

I have lived in Harlem for the past 5 years and all I can say to Baldwin is good riddance. The police in Harlem are a disgrace. They pull people over for no reason and write bogus tickets just to have something to do. Harlem reminds be of Mayberry with Barney running around just looking for a reason to pull his bullet out of his pocket. Speed traps, license checks, 6 cameras on the only traffic light in town... Give me a break. Its HARLEM GA, not Atlanta. I hope and pray that the next police chief of Harlem will have enough sense to make Harlem a place people want to visit and live instead of somewhere to avoid because a Barney Fife wanna-be is going to "write them up".

christian134
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christian134 01/24/09 - 08:02 am
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Not enough of a salary eh Mr.

Not enough of a salary eh Mr. Baldwin?

JohnQPublic
5
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JohnQPublic 01/24/09 - 08:05 am
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He must have a screw loose!

He must have a screw loose! Why in the world ruin your good name over nickel and dime junk?

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 01/24/09 - 08:30 am
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To all full time

To all full time Shop-lifters: Now the next time you get caught S/lifting at WalMart tell them you would like the same wonderful treatment they gave the Police Chief.

checkitout
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checkitout 01/24/09 - 08:58 am
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You know it is sad to see a

You know it is sad to see a grown man throw his name and job away. You he must be sick. Harlem has always had a name but not as bad as it has been with this Chief. Maybe now Harlem will get a Chief like Askew. Askew was the best Harlem ever had so maybe the City will look for someone like him. Jerry you should go into couseling for help. I know your family will be embarassed to be around town. I think it is wrong of Walmart not to have pressed charges, the next person that steals should get the same treatment that was given to a man that is post to up hold the law. Goes to show just because you are a police doesnt make you any better that of a criminal. I know there are a lot of good law enforcement officers out there but one bad apple like this makes you wonder which ones are the good ones.

ListenAndLearn
0
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ListenAndLearn 01/24/09 - 09:33 am
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This truly is embarassing for

This truly is embarassing for Harlem and you have to feel for his children and family who have to face this day to day now. That's who will suffer for a really bad decision. For whatever issues he has or has had for doing this, I hope he'll get it worked out but sadly his life will never be the same. So many people think highly of Jerry. I'm glad my father passed away before he had to see this. He thought the world of Jerry Baldwin.

Art
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Art 01/24/09 - 10:05 am
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I think he needs help from

I think he needs help from the Lord. He is a sin sick man and I feel so bad for his family and him. Maybe he will learn crime does not pay. I hope he gets help with his problem. He sure did not to steal when he did not have to.

jcommitted
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jcommitted 01/24/09 - 10:10 am
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I have to agree with you

I have to agree with you politicallyncorrect Although I don't think shoplifting or stealing will ever bring any good to anyone.

LadyCisback
4
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LadyCisback 01/24/09 - 10:38 am
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The way the economy is some

The way the economy is some people are forced to do certain things that they might not like or regret later on however what he did was just plain dumb!

laprince
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laprince 01/24/09 - 01:11 pm
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Wow!!!! I guess he thought he

Wow!!!! I guess he thought he would get away with it. May he was fanticizing and thought of his childhood at that moment to pull atrick like that. Walmart didn't press charges because they got their items back which was a small amount and probably was embarrsed for him. The shame of being a city official and have his name in the paper and smeared is enough punishment. Plus he's fired.....

southerngirl
0
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southerngirl 01/24/09 - 01:43 pm
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Why didn't WalMart press

Why didn't WalMart press charges??

outraged1
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outraged1 01/24/09 - 01:43 pm
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Walmart has a unwritten rule

Walmart has a unwritten rule that they will not press charges on anyone caught shoplifting less than $25.00 dollars.

mable8
2
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mable8 01/24/09 - 02:04 pm
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"The law is the law," Mr.

"The law is the law," Mr. Baldwin said. "And I've got to suffer the consequences like everybody else." Excuse me, Mr Baldwin, any other person would have the book thrown at them and serve time in jail plus a fine. Seems to me you got all the breaks because of your "status". Well, one good thing about this is the POST regulations say that you can never again be in law enforcement in this State; problem is, another state may hire you in that capacity and it will be a sorry day for that community. On the other hand, since no charges were filed, you get to find a well-paying job; something that is denied to folks who actually paid for their crime. No kudos for you, that's for sure.

mable8
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mable8 01/24/09 - 02:10 pm
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outraged1: I think that

outraged1: I think that 'unwritten policy' is dependent upon where you live, what store the shoplifting occurred in, and who you are. I have watched some get arrested for shoplifing a packet of pencils (cost: less than $1) and charges were pressed; the offender was given 6 months probation and had to attend classes regarding shoplifting for 4 weekends (1 hour each session). As a CPS worker, I had a few of these individuals on my caseload.

sprintman
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sprintman 01/24/09 - 02:11 pm
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Walmart didn't press charges

Walmart didn't press charges because its a police chief. If it was a regular kid off the street you can bet that they would. I have actually seen somebody get caught shoplifting at the target in Evans. The police escorted them out in handcuffs and book them into the jail. Now of course these were emo looking white teenagers and not a old white male police cheif.

sprintman
0
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sprintman 01/24/09 - 02:14 pm
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Truth be told all the little

Truth be told all the little suburban police departments suck. Because they don't have enough money to operate. Grovetown, waynesboro, thomson, lincolton, washington, harlem, the towns in aiken county not named NA & Aiken. Hephzibah police dept used to suck too. But they have stepped it up a little. With more cars and officers in the last two year's.

Butterfly143
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Butterfly143 01/24/09 - 04:02 pm
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I think it should be against

I think it should be against the law to leave stupid comments under a article. If you dont know him personally then I dont think its none of your business. You and your family Jerry are in our prayers. If you really know Jerry, then you know this isnt him. Something is wrong, and your going to feel real bad if something really does happen. WE LOVE YOU JERRY!!

DefaultChoice
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DefaultChoice 01/24/09 - 04:16 pm
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Well, I can say I know of

Well, I can say I know of Jerry and his disfucntional family personally. Stealing is not the only thing he has done while in office. He has slept around with women while on duty, as well. He's was a frequent of a house on S. Fariview Dr. GO FIGURE!!! So how's that for you "BUTTERFLY143".

shiloh
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shiloh 01/24/09 - 04:26 pm
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wow. I live in Harlem too and

wow. I live in Harlem too and don't you think it is kind of odd that he did this the WAY he did this? SOMETHING IS UP!!!

shiloh
0
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shiloh 01/24/09 - 04:31 pm
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I have to agree with with

I have to agree with with Butterfly143. I don't know him but something about this just doesn't sound right! DEFAULTCHOICE WAS THAT YOUR HOUSE HE WAS AT???? YOU SURE KNOW ALOT ABOUT IT. You sound kind of jealous and hostle so either you are a woman who he slept with and you weren't very good so he dumped you or YOUR a man who's woman slept with him because SHE doesn't think YOUR any good at it. WHICH ONE IS IT???? PUHLEEEEEEZE ANSWER THAT????

KSL
143858
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KSL 01/24/09 - 04:40 pm
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Wow, shiloh, what an

Wow, shiloh, what an emotional comment, for not knowing him!

justus4
113
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justus4 01/24/09 - 05:06 pm
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What sentence is appropiate
Unpublished

What sentence is appropiate for this guy? The facts seems clear that shoplifting took place. Now come the fun part: Watching the non-minority media provide the thief's statement of remorse and his willingness to resign, then watch the local authorities make excuses for the thief's laspe in judgement, Then watch online postings wonder about the thief's family and future job opportunities, then watch the DA find statues to get a probation sentence, then watch the minority community think back to Tuesday's historical events, and Rev. Lowery's prayer that, "one day when whites will do what is right" and who knows, it might be today or next week or next year. CHANGE!

owensjef2
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owensjef2 01/24/09 - 08:36 pm
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Ha only 22 comments, I wonder

Ha only 22 comments, I wonder if this was ?

shiloh
0
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shiloh 01/24/09 - 09:28 pm
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ksl , I didn't know him but I

ksl , I didn't know him but I do know the ones who work for him and I just find it odd that a cop who had money,runs a police station, bought OTHER items in the store, chose to steal a few dollars worth of stuff just.....because. If I didn't know any better I would say that he HAD to. Something just doesn't add up!

shiloh
0
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shiloh 01/24/09 - 09:30 pm
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JUSTUS4, all I can say is

JUSTUS4, all I can say is THAT WAS A MOUTH FULL! Made sense too.

BakersfieldCityLimits
1
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BakersfieldCityLimits 01/24/09 - 10:18 pm
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0
Under President Bush this

Under President Bush this would have been covered up, Thank you President Obama. The Lord has blessed us.

Rose
17
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Rose 01/24/09 - 10:56 pm
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One thing I hate is a thief.

One thing I hate is a thief. If something is not mine then I don't want it.

checkitout
13
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checkitout 01/25/09 - 08:54 am
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ok Jerry has been ragged

ok Jerry has been ragged enough. His wife left him a couple months back, his kids are all grown and he just wanted to see if he would get caught. I want to know was he in uniform and in city vehicle. last I heard work hours were until 5pm. yes he should have been booked into the jail and bonded out like anyone else. Walmart needs to think twice about how they handle the shoplifting rules

shiloh
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shiloh 01/25/09 - 09:20 am
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i agree checkitout but come

i agree checkitout but come on.... nobody walks into walmart (especially the chief of police) and pays for a few things, steals the rest, but can afford all of it and does it for no reason! He was not stupid! Did it occur to anyone that maybe the man was blackmailed or this act was keeping another act hidden? NOBODY DOES THIS WITHOUT A REASON!

WW1949
19
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WW1949 01/25/09 - 10:35 am
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He said he didn't have the

He said he didn't have the money. What has blackmail have to do with stealing tarter sause and Crystal Light? Wake up shilo.

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