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New Public Safety chief is selected

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The North Augusta Department of Public Safety has named an outsider to be the new director of public safety.

Thomas  Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Jackie Ricciardi/Staff
Thomas

John Thomas, of Clinton, S.C., will replace Lee Wetherington, who retired in February after 36 years in the department.

Mr. Thomas begins April 6.

As the director of public safety for the city of Clinton since 2005, Mr. Thomas is familiar with a combined police and fire division, such as North Augusta's.

He was in charge of about 50 employees in Clinton and will oversee 52 officers and 18 civilian personnel in North Augusta, said City Administrator Sam Bennett.

Mr. Bennett, who worked as the city manager of Clinton, said he sought Mr. Thomas' help in selecting a new director in September and Mr. Thomas decided to apply for the job.

"This is a well-established area for public safety and has been for some time," Mr. Thomas said. "It presented an opportunity for me to further my career in public safety to the next level."

Mr. Bennett said he was not involved in the final selection process.

Mayor Lark Jones, Councilman Jimmy Adams and Councilwoman Carolyn Baggott narrowed down the pool of 82 applicants, Mr. Bennett said.

"We've kind of done our homework, and we just fell in love with the place," Mr. Thomas said of North Augusta.

Reach Crystal Garcia at (706) 823-3409 or crystal.garcia@augustachronicle.com.

JOHN THOMAS

AGE: 52


FAMILY: Wife, Caroline; daughter, Jessica Giddens, 28; son, Adam Taylor, 17


EDUCATION: Limestone College 1975, bachelor of science in business administration; The Federal Bureau of Investigation Academy 1999, graduate; South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy 1981, basic law enforcement certification; and South Carolina Fire Academy 2008, basic fire certification


QUOTE: "I appreciate and thank everyone who was involved in this process, from the mayor to the public safety committee that was formed and Mr. Bennett and the graciousness of everybody here. It's been an awesome time that I've spent with these folks and very valuable. I can't thank them enough for giving me this opportunity."


LAST EMPLOYMENT: Director of public safety in Clinton, S.C., since 2005

Comments (10) Add comment
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sctex
1
Points
sctex 03/03/09 - 05:45 am
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Wetherington what a douche

Wetherington what a douche bag.

APiratesLife4Me
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APiratesLife4Me 03/03/09 - 09:43 am
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Now maybe the "buddy buddy"

Now maybe the "buddy buddy" officers will see the light from another source! Mr. Thomas, clean up the "wannabes" on your force. The ones that race home every evening to watch "COPS" and the ones that ride with there fingerless gloves on....you know the kind.

122jkb90
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122jkb90 03/03/09 - 10:10 am
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Have the cops in NA ever

Have the cops in NA ever solved a single crime? The one time I needed them I was told investigators don’t work weekends. If I were a criminal I would find this info very interesting! Guess I should have wished I was burglarized during normal business hours.

elliottness
2
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elliottness 03/03/09 - 10:37 am
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atleast they didn't go out of

atleast they didn't go out of state this time like the other disaster.hopefully he will encourage his officers to concentrate on something besides speeding,gas drive offs,and dim tail lights.

peonynut
2
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peonynut 03/03/09 - 11:31 am
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Disaster!! Well Elliott all

Disaster!! Well Elliott all I can say is that you must have been doing something wrong and got caught at it because the person you are writing about did wonders for this department.

elliottness
2
Points
elliottness 03/03/09 - 11:52 am
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peanut, perhaps you missed

peanut, perhaps you missed the other 3 messages.i go through there as seldom as possible, i don't like driving 35 mph everywhere.the disaster was the guy thet hired from pa years ago who didn't seem to fit in.

jack
10
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jack 03/03/09 - 04:13 pm
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Hopefully, our cops will no

Hopefully, our cops will no longet be referred to as the Gestapo. Seems about all they know how to do is run speed traps.

sctex
1
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sctex 03/03/09 - 04:30 pm
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wetherington is still a

wetherington is still a douche bag.

Jim-bob
1
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Jim-bob 03/03/09 - 07:02 pm
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Why would you want to insult

Why would you want to insult a douche bag like that?

APiratesLife4Me
0
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APiratesLife4Me 03/03/09 - 07:15 pm
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Not really a speed trap per

Not really a speed trap per say but they do take advantage of the laws of gravity on Martintown Road and on Hwy 1. Why they are even out on 1 is beyond me. Aiken-Augusta hwy has nothing to do with the city of NA other than a source of revenue. Yet, they fly up and down the very roads they write tickets on. it is not funny at all guys. You are making a mockery of the whole department. Try slowing down yourself and don't act like there is a fire from every red light. The cops should police themselves and their driving habits on and off duty. You don't have to do a spin out and burn rubber to go after granny with a blown tag light. We have to pay for those tires and when you are idling in the shopping center while talking with your little non police friends, shut the motor off. You can waste time but don't waste our gas.

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