Incumbent Sheriff Hannah, contender Babb face off at forum

Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah (L) and challenger Barry Babb (R). Photos/Ben Nelms.

It was not exactly a showdown beween Fayette County Sheriff Wayne Hannah and challenger Barry Babb but the candidate’s forum held June 14 did give the nearly 200 in attendance a closer look at the candidates and their different perspectives on law enforcement.

Babb currently serves with the Atlanta Police Department and, prior to that time, spent 22 years with the sheriff’s office. Hannah was elected sheriff in 2008 and has worked with the sheriff’s office for 37 years.

Perhaps the most potentially volatile question of the forum dealt with Babb’s “demotion” after he ran unsuccessfully against Hannah in the 2008 election. Hannah was asked if Babb’s demotion from captain to being a deputy in the jail amounted to retribution because Babb challenged him in the election. A similar question also arose from the floor toward the end of the meeting.

“It was definitely not retribution. As an executive officer coming in, whether it be the sheriff or the CEO of a company, they are going to set up a command staff that they believe will be loyal to the needs of the sheriff and the sheriff’s office,” Hannah said. “So you set up your command staff first and work your way down the line. You (the questioner) said (the demotion) was to a deputy sheriff, which is the lowest position in the sheriff’s office. That’s incorrect. He was reassigned. I look at someone being demoted if they’ve done something wrong. That was not the case here. It was simply reassignment and the reassignment was to the jail. That’s not the lowest paid position and it was the highest paid position as a deputy sheriff in the jail.”

Babb was then asked the amount of his pay as a captain and as a deputy at the jail. Babb said he made $80,000 as a captain and $56,000 in the position at the jail. Babb said the ability to moonlight and make another $20,000 was prohibitive in his position at the jail since he did not have an assigned vehicle.

In terms of whether he thought the “demotion” was retribution, Babb said he didn’t “want to go there.”

In a related question that surfaced later and centering on his opponents in 2008, Hannah said one was demoted and the other (Thomas Mindar) remained a deputy.

In another question the candidates were asked their opinion on the most significant or serious law enforcement issue facing Fayette County in the next four years.

“Everyone’s concerned about crime, what’s happening and how we can do better about being out there deterring that crime. A lot of the meetings I go to, people are talking about crime and the perception that crime is skyrocketing,” Hannah said. “A lot of the issues people bring up (such as the Fayette Pavilion) are happening in the municipalities. (The city police departments) are doing their best to prevent crimes in their cities, but we’re primarily focused in what’s going on in the (unincorporated) county.”

Responding to a follow-up, Hannah said the sheriff’s office does assist city police departments in crime matters.

“The objective is that when a crime occurs, is to get as many people in the area to set up a perimeter,” Hannah added.

Babb in his response on significant issues said they included the economy and maintaining a law enforcement perimeter, especially on the north and eastern portions of the county.

“I’m asked why we can’t run government like a business. In a lot of ways we can though we don’t want to run the sheriff’s office for a profit obviously, but I think we need to take a look at some of the things that are happening. I believe nine people are retiring and most of those have some rank. One of the commissioners told me there seems to be some reluctance there not to fill those positions and that could save the county a lot of money,” Babb said.

Hannah in a comment in another part of the forum said some of those positions have already been combined.

The second part of Babb’s answer dealt with maintaining a law enforcement perimeter around the county.

“When I worked in Fayette County we went and did it whether (the crime) was in Brooks or the Fayette Pavilion or Peachtree City. We went where we were needed. The sheriff’s office is your perimeter. The threat is a northern, eastern arc. And when your perimeter is down you’re going to see a breach in that perimeter and I think that’s what you’re seeing,” Babb said.

Hannah in his opening remarks said he graduated from Fayette County High School and has been with the sheriff’s office for more than 37 years, working his way up beginning as a radio operator, progressing through the ranks to lieutenant colonel then being elected as sheriff in 2008.

“The one thing I hear from you all is being available to answer questions that you have. So I’ve been out in the community, homeowners meetings, community meetings, various civic group meetings, to be out there to see what your issues and concerns are,” Hannah said.

Hannah said the website for the sheriff’s office was initiated in 2010. The website contains a significant amount of information pertaining to the operations of the office, he said.

“Another reason for the website is so you can look on there and see information on crime prevention and crime deterrence so you can, hopefully, make yourself safer and not be a victim of crime,” said Hannah. “So our objective there was to educate the public on not being a victim of crime.”

Hannah also noted enhancements to the office in the past four years. Most of those came at no cost to taxpayers, he said, referencing the equitable sharing funds from drug seizures and noting that $6.3 million has been spent from those funds in three years for enhancements in a number of areas such as tools, equipment, technology and training.

“We can’t use it for personnel, but we can use it for anything that enhances law enforcement according to the federal guidelines we have to follow,” said Hannah. “Probably one of the biggest is technology, the records management system and the jail management system. The 911 center has just come on board with a new CAD (Computer Aided Dispatch) system so that deputies can see the calls on the computer system before they come out. So we’ve been doing a lot to serve you at very little cost to you. People seem to be appreciative of the services being provided.”

Babb in his opening remarks said a sheriff is the employee and the voters are the employer and this forum is the job interview, adding that he is happy to be interviewed at any time.

 Babb said he grew up in Fayette County, saying that he could not have asked for a better place to grow up. He referenced childhood exploits such as playing ball in cow pastures, shooting BB guns and graduating from Fayette County High School. Babb also noted, with examples, his memories of the in the room where the forum was being held when in years past it was a one-screen movie theater.

“This is family, this is home, this is what it’s all about,” Babb said as he introduced his children and his parents.

Babb then moved on to his experience in law enforcement.

“My professional side is 22 years here with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office. I worked my way up from the bottom. I worked my way from the jail, patrol, detective, to captain and in charge of patrol officers,” he said.

A question to Hannah asked about the responsibilities of the sheriff’s office and who has authority over the sheriff.

“I believe the sheriff is mentioned over 200 times in Georgia statutes so there are many jobs that the sheriff does. Geographically, we are patrolling the unincorporated areas of Fayette County. We’re a full-service sheriff’s office so we not only secure the jail and courthouse, we do patrol, criminal investigations and all police-related services,” Hannah said, noting that the list of responsibilities pertaining to security for the courthouse is pages long. “We maintain a list for the registry of sex offenders in the county. The metal recycling is now (the responsibility of) the sheriff. The list goes on and on.”

As for who has authority over the sheriff, Hannah said the sheriff is elected by the voters so that is who the sheriff answers to.

“Some people say the sheriff answers to the Board of Commissioners. The sheriff is one of four constitutional officers in the county. They don’t actually answer to anyone but the citizens of the county. Of course we work with the Board of Commissioners. They approve the sheriff’s budget and we work with them on the budget they approve for us,” Hannah said.

Another question went to Babb, asking him why he felt he would be an effective sheriff.

“I’m a teacher, I’m a law enforcement teacher,” Babb said, then holding up a knife to help illustrate his answer. “Have any of you ever heard the term, ’tip of the spear’? This is what I feel like I am, this is what I feel like I do best and this is what I want to do here and this is what I’m doing now somewhere else. I want to be the tip of the spear, the first point of entry. I want to be the one in the field for you. I’ve led units in the field. I’ve always been in the field. That’s what I do best. I think that gives me a leg up because your officers need to see you up front leading them and they need to trust you.”

Hannah in response said he appreciated the thought, adding that the deputies are in the field where they have supervisors.

“The sheriff is the one behind the scenes that’s furnishing all those people down the line with what they need,” Hannah said, noting that all personnel have their specific job responsibilities.

 Yet another question dealt with the $1.2 million in technology upgrades that came from drug seizure funds. Babb was first up.

“Technology is good. It doesn’t replace a lot of skills that we have to use as well,” Babb said, then using cell phones as an example of the short-term durability of technology equipment and the time frame that exists between when fund are seized and when the sheriff’s office receives its cut of the proceeds. “When we talk about technology, when it goes bad or you can’t get parts for it really quick is the burden going to be back on the taxpayers to keep it going. Do we need 60 laptops when maybe 20 would have worked? There’s a lot of things like that that worries me because that money is not coming in like it used to. “

Hannah followed up saying the three-year total of $6.3 million spent was accompanied by a total of $7.9 million in seizure funds that were received, adding that the software program was purchased by a reliable company that has been in business for nearly 20 years.

The next question referenced the current crime statistics compared to those of five years ago.

Hannah referenced the top seven serious crimes, called Part 1 crimes, that are often used to reflect a community’s crime rate.

“That’s the number we look at to get a measure of what’s going on. For 2011 that number was 847 for total Part 1 crimes,” Hannah said, adding that Part 1 crimes have been decreasing over the past few years through 2007. “If you go back to 2006 we’re exactly where we were at in 2011. The crime rate is pretty flat since 2006. In 2005 it was higher than that. That’s on our website. You can see where they run each year through 2005.”

As a follow-up question, Babb was asked why it seems like the crime rate is up.

“I believe the intensity is higher. But don’t let the statistics fool you,” Babb said, citing the example that in past years there were no weapons being discharged during bank robberies. He cited another example of a city detective that found a number of stolen cars in a salvage yard in Fayette County. That number grew to approximately 100 stolen cars. “If that city detective had not found that, that’s 100 felonies that would have went away and never been logged as statistics. If we’re proactive we may find a lot (of crimes).”

Babb when asked about crime numbers said the numbers he was referencing were those from the entire county, adding that the numbers Hannah provided for the sheriff’s office were accurate for those time periods.

“But to me, I don’t want to rest on that because there is no acceptable number of victims. If we do have a leg up then let’s go further. Let’s drive then down and be more proactive,” Babb said.

Hannah then responded, saying that the vehicles Babb referenced were stolen outside Fayette County and brought to the junk yards in Fayetteville and being sold as scrap metal due to a loophole in state law for vehicles over 10 years old that do not require a title to be sold.

Essentially a follow-up, the candidates were asked why it seems like a lot of criminals come from outside Fayette County and why they feel comfortable coming here.

Hannah said law enforcement sometimes has difficulty getting criminals to come to Fayette County for sting operations due to Fayette’s reputation for having a tough criminal justice system.

“The others, the burglaries and thefts, are our top numbers. I don’t think those individuals keep up with (the court system). I think they just ride and look and see what’s available,” said Hannah. “That’s why our objective is to be out and be visible and use that visibility as the first line of defense and as a deterrent to have them go somewhere else.”

Babb also responded to the question.

“If you look at the headlines in the past few months... I believe the comfort level is up higher,” Babb said, adding that there is nothing left to steal in Clayton County. “I believe (that is) right. So we have to be aggressive, out there on the front, the tip of the spear. And I disagree, I think the sheriff should be out front.”

The next question pertained to a recent incident where a drug dog bit an innocent person and how many citizens and deputies have been bitten.

Hannah said his office has a total of 10 canines used for various purposes such as drugs, tracking, handler protection and apprehension. The reference to the recent dog bite dealt with an incident at Walmart where the dog left the vehicle when frequency interference from another transmitter source caused the car door to open and the dog to exit and subsequently bit the Walmart employee on the arm and in the groin area. The system’s manufacturer had not notified its customers of its recent history with the equipment malfunctioning, Hannah said. That system being used in several vehicles has been disabled until they can be replaced, Hannah added.

Babb said he did not want to comment because he did not want to be subpoenaed when the lawsuit comes out.

Another question asked the number of command positions in the sheriff’s office and how many of those were held by blacks.

Hannah said the office has four division directors, three males and one female and all are white. Overall, the office has 78 percent white and 22 percent minority as of nine months ago.

Babb also weighed in saying diversity is a good thing when you police a diverse community.

“I know it’s tough to run a department and get all the needs met but it’s something that’s out there,” said Babb. When asked if he believes there should be more diversity in the command positions he said, “I believe the person should have the job because they are qualified and I believe there are some really qualified people in the sheriff’s office.”

As for their best traits as leaders, Hannah said his was being a listener while Babb said his is being the point man on the front lines.

Hannah in a follow-up said, “I’m there for everyone now, listening. I think this thing about being the point man, that’s the deputies job and they have supervisors. When it’s a critical incident I’m there. But that’s not the primary responsibility of the sheriff. I’m in my office many times responding to citizens’ issues and meeting with citizens. So it’s a little different.” 

The candidate’s forum was held at the Harvest Christian Community Center in Fayetteville and was sponsored by the Fayette County Local Issues Tea Party.

prince albert
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We need a sheriff, not a "tip of the spear"

Wayne Hannah is a good man who is doing a great job for our county. Barry is running his entire campaign on "sour grapes." I'm sorry Barry got a pay cut, but he could have been fired. Instead, he was a victim of reorganization, which was Wayne's prerogative.

I haven't heard or seen any new ideas or crime prevention initiatives coming from the Babb camp, only the promise to be "out in the trenches." Wayne is out there meeting with the public, speaking to every group that invites him, and promoting the work of the sheriff's department as well as representing our county well. Plus, he's a good manager.

As far as the misinformation and inaccuracies that are circulating, make a list of questions and call or email Sheriff Hannah and ask for the facts and for the documentation. He's available, accessible and willing to help.

Get the facts, folks, and don't vote with your emotions. Wayne Hannah is the most qualified candidate and will do the best job for our county.

moelarrycurly
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Voters Choice for Sheriff.. Hannah vs Babb

For those who are concerned about costs of our govt. expenses (who isn't?), there were some very interesting facts brought out at last night's BOC meeting. Seems the auto insurance policies for FC are up for renewal and staff was unable to get insurance companies to bid. Staff finally had to use a broker, who appeared last night, and the broker stated that the county has a miserable claim record in the last year (July to July). What we paid in premiums was dwarfed by the claims submitted for payment. I think a figure of claims at 123% over what was paid in premiums was given. As a result, very few want to insure, and the broker was able to finally get some proposals, but we will be paying lots more this coming year as a result.

Jack Krakeel (his final meeting) came out, when asked, with the fact that the SO claims represented all but a fraction of the total claims. He also said he has had meetings with Sheriff Hannah trying to get this addressed and get the claim rate under control. One of the factors mentioned was the size of the county and the large territory the SO covers to answer calls. (?)

Anyway, sounded to me like there is a leadership issue if claims are out of control. Listen to the audio of the meeting when it becomes available to find out more.

I have nothing but respect for our law enforcement in this county, but something is wrong if we can't get insurance companies interested in bidding for our business.

I have heard both men speak in the last few weeks. Totally, totally different styles is right. And I will not assume to know which style is better for our county. But, after hearing this information last night, and absent any extraordinary circumstances causing this expense, this is enough for me to put my vote in for Barry Babb.

AtHomeGym
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FCSO & Insurance Claims

And I's sure that the accident that Captain Hannah was involved in is part of that claim history--that could'a been a biggie but of course there was never any public disclosure of the disposition of the incident. Wonder why the Citizen wasn't all over that?

NUK_1
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The Citizen treats the FCSO with kid's gloves

There is virtually no reporting and no follow-up when it comes to the FCSO. Hands off!

It's one thing to have the most respect for law enforcement; it's another to turn a blind eye to what goes on, blatant nepotism, obvious "retaliation," the whole Captain-now-Major Woodie saga that was barely mentioned, etc.

NUK_1
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The Citizen treats the FCSO with kid's gloves

There is virtually no reporting and no follow-up when it comes to the FCSO. Hands off!

It's one thing to have the most respect for law enforcement; it's another to turn a blind eye to what goes on, blatant nepotism, obvious "retaliation," the whole Captain-now-Major Woodie saga that was barely mentioned, etc.

mom830
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Demotion

Anyone who thinks that Babb's demotion was not retribution for running against Hannah needs to take a closer look. Whether it is law enforcement or military rank going from a Captain to a deputy (with no rank) is a demotion and Babb was demoted simply for running for office. Also, Babb has mentioned that he would be on the front lines with his officers. When was the last time you saw a quote or even an appearance from Hannah? Although I often see news interviews with people from the department, I almost never see the Sheriff himself. Why pay someone a salary if you don't even know if they are actually doing the job? Hannah says his best trait as a leader is being a good listener? Really?? I don't want a therapist for a Sheriff, I want someone who will get out and do the job they were elected to do.

ILuvFayette
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mom830....

I agree 100% with what you say. I never see anything from Hannah. It seems to me that Woodie is the one that runs the sheriff's office.

My question to Major Mike is what "issues" is it that Hannah has handled? There has been nothing about Hannah that has stood out. It is very easy to forget who is actually sheriff.

I want a sheriff that is on the frontlines. I want a sheriff that knows exactly what is going on. There are so many other agencies that have the sheriff telling their public what is happing happening in their neighborhoods, not the major. Where is sheriff Hannah?!?!

The Truth Will ...
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Demoting an opponent is highly unethical

When I think of the Sheriff's Department the word "Justice" comes to mind!
When I think of self serving actions against your opponent the term "Just Us" comes to mind!
Transparancy, Honesty, Ethics, wanted! No incumbents need apply!

AtHomeGym
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lifeinptc & Ginga

There are a number of management & leadership styles & techniques one can use, dependent on the 'things' one has to 'manage' and the 'personnel' one has to 'lead'. The important thing is to find one that works for you and gets the job done. It's difficult to criticize anyone's 'style' from the outside, unless there are obvious examples of failure.

MajorMike
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lifeinptc

You sound like a wannabe insider or a Babb relative with an axe to grind. Are you, by any chance, the old guy that got up and spoke heatedly about Babb's salary issue? Are you perhaps a close relative?

I attended the forum/debate and was singularly unimpressed with Babb. Babb's main bone of contention in the debate was the amount of money he makes now versus what he did make in his previous position. Beyond that I could not see that he had anything to offer. Coupled with the fact that Babb is widely reputed to be a bible thumper, something that immediately turns me off, I can see no reason to cast a vote for him. He also needs to learn to sit up in his chair when he is in a public venue and learn some sort of response other than "I agree with the Sheriff" when asked what he would do.

Your criticism of the Citizen is totally unwarranted. Randall Johnson was in the news a lot because of the serious problems with and within that department and the ongoing war with the County Commission. Johnson destroyed (with help) his own legacy with his last two terms in office.

FayetteBorn
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How is being a "Bible thumper" a bad thing

And for the record, I'm not one.
I see Babb as an honorable man that has led his life and his family with strong Christian values.
He has been a servant to the Fayette community all of his adult life, and wants to continue to serve.
If he gives you his word, it means something!
I believe I recall a gentlemans agreement made by all the candidates during the last election not to do an interview unless all candidates were interviewed.
Guess who went back on his word?
Hint his name starts with an H and his wife works for the sherrifs office.
How do you spell nepitism? I hope I got it right.

lifeinptc
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Major Mike, I only met Babb once, and he was genuine,

I've seen Hannah several times and he seems aloof, arrogant as Randall was.

I've watched your blogs and you clearly think you have a handle on the law enforcement situation in this county. It appears to me you don't. I hope you are gathering your information from more than one source.

Frankly, your blog always come across as arrogant and aloof; as if you know about everything. This brings me to my next point. I would use caution about slinging the wannabe label around. You present yourself as a Hannah wannabe-a-fan. I have learned from earlier blogs you have never actually held the rank of Major, so natural I question your own wannabe status.

I am not in the Babb camp. I was not at the forum. My response was based on the news article which led me to believe Babb was cornered about his change of jobs and how it affected him because of Hannah's mean retribution. At the risk of sounding juvenile, mean people suck.

MajorMike
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lifeinptc - souces

I have talked with Hannah perhaps five times. I can understand how one could mistake his reserved demeanor as aloof. To me, he seems almost shy (which he is probably not).

If you have indeed watched my blogs (which I doubt), you would realize that I blog sparingly rather than fire my mouth off about every topic as you seem to think is necessary. My information on law enforcement (and other topics) is usually gathered the hard way. In this case, I start by reading the arrest reports and other related articles (regurlarly) regarding law enforcement in The Citizen as well as other area publications. I ask questions from there and LE is an area of interest for me. I have known several deputies and ranking officers with the FCSO for well over two decades. My support for Hannah derives from many, many sources - I did not vote for Hannah or the other two candidates in the last election. I wrote in Mickey Mouse because one candidate was a young deputy with very little management experience, Babb was bible thumping even then, and Hannah was endorsed by Randall Johnson after Johnson had committed to staying neutral. Given the state of the FCSO at that time, Johnson's endorsement, to me, was a big negative.

About six months after Hannah was elected, I called the FCSO to see if that agency was participating in the 287G program regarding illegal aliens and IF NOT, WHY NOT. Sheriff Hannah was out of town but a young female deputy returned my call and said that the FCSO did not qualify for that program. In a word, I didn't believe it. A couple of weeks later the Sherrif returned my call and I learned just how restrictive that the 287G program was but that the FCSO was even so trying to qualify and utilize the program. Several months later I listened to the Sheriff, along with a representative of the Dustin Inman society (Of which I am a supporter), speak at a Tea Party forum at the gathering place in PTC. I learned that within a very few months of being elected, Sheriff Hannah had designated a FCSO deputy to track the illegal alien problem in our County and investigate additional legal avenues of dealing with it. It seems like the federal government is in no way interested in LE being able to detain illegal aliens. Is that enough sources for you?

If you have learned in earlier blogs that the blogger name "MajorMike" is a nickname rather than my military rank then you learned it from MY blog entry and you also learned that I've had the nickname for over fifty years and ..... I'm really not concerned with your lame "attack the messenger" comebacks on "wannabe". Even so, I served my country as an "officer and a gentleman" with Uncle Sam's Misguided Children and have the white (not yellow) framable piece of paper to prove it.

Ah yes ...... "mean people suck". Welcome to the real world.. OMG is that "arrogant and aloof" ?? If YOU had done your homework you would find that Babb's transfer was NOT an act of retribution. The reason is a personnel matter that can NOT be discussed publicly by Hannah or anyone else.

AtHomeGym
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Major Mike, Babb & "Reassignment"

Don't know about you, but if I got "reassigned" to a position that cut my salary by almost 50%, I'd sure as hell consider it a demotion--regardless of the reason. And if there was a personnel matter that concerned Babb, obviously it didn't bother the APD when they hired him. Let's face it, when you throw a blanket over personnel issues, then it breeds suspicion, when real transparency is what the public deserves. Of course if you're willing to take the heat and tough it out, I guess it in some way will eventually absolve you of any guilt feelings you may have had. At the end of the day, if you can look yourself in the mirror, ask "did I do right" and answer "yes", doesn't matter. Never met either of the two. BTW, I DO know what it's like to be a "Major", even if it has the word "Sergeant" in front!

MajorMike
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AtHomeGym

You make good point on the transparency issue. Right after the "transfer" incident occurred, I questioned a ranking deputy and was told that while he could not share the real reason, Babb was lucky to not have been terminated. This reply was delivered with a considerable amount of passion and since the other candidate had not been affected, I was compelled to accept it at face value. The fact that Babb was reputed both then and now, to wear his religion on his shirt sleeves, does not endear him to my selection process. Coupled with the fact that Hannah has actually done something about issues that matter deeply to me, well........

I must correct your military ranking concept. Back in the day (mid 60's), a Sar-Major was considered the enlisted equivalent of a full colonel or a one star. He could actually keep you from getting yourself and a bunch of other men killed if you listened to him. Sargeant's (inclusive), have always been the backbone of the U.S. military.

AtHomeGym
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Major Mike & Rank Concept

I have no misperception about rank concept. Through experience, I am well aware of the differences. In fact, when I was asked about the difference I saw between E-8 & E-9,my honest reply was "except for the difference in compensation, whenI entered Patton Hall at Ft McPherson early in the morning, LtColonels & Colonels would initiate a "Good Morning Sergeant Major"greeting instead of the other way around when I was a Master Sergeant (Master Gunny to you)---Fact!

mbest
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Never been a Major Mike

I'm not going to go back and forth with you. Keep drinking the koolade. If you're such a civic minded soul you should know; Public employee matters are public record. You will see Hannah at your Rotary Club meetings but you won't see him on the streets. You have the right to support who you wish, and so do I.

MajorMike
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mbest, lifeinptc - whoever you are today!

I thought I recognized your style. You're still full of hate I see.

ginga1414
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lifeinptc, I Wholeheartedly Agree

I don't want an armchair Sheriff!!

CombatCorrespondent
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PHOTOS and VIDEO-Incumbent Sheriff Hannah, Babb Face Off

Photos and video of the Sheriff's debate. You can hear it all ...

Not the best audio or video, but the photos are decent ...

http://www.kombatkamera.com/Journalism/Local-News/News-Stuff/7952631_Mx8m4g#!i=1908440911&k=ZPcFcDc

Mike

phil sukalewski
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Using Department Vehicles for Moonlighting ???

"Babb said the ability to moonlight and make another $20,000 was prohibitive in his position at the jail since he did not have an assigned vehicle."

A little surprised at this comment. My good friend works for A Federal law agency, and they are strictly prohibited from using their gov't vehicles for any travel outside of their jobs.

lifeinptc
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Phil, the deputies explanation on your point would be this.

Traditionally in local law enforcement jurisdictions, the departments encourage the officers to use a marked patrol car on part time jobs for these reasons;
1) It creates more visability of a police presence wherever the car goes or sits. It’s worth the gas for that alone.
2) It ensures the deputy has all of the equipment he or she needs (radio, first aid kit, fire ext. ect…) should they roll up on an emergency.
3) If there is an emergency call anywhere near where he or she is, he or she is going to respond. It is simply their nature and we as taxpayers get an extra deputy en-route to help; one who is not on the clock.
4) If he or she rides by your house on the way to a his or her part time job and sees your house being burglarized he or she is going to stop his or her car and your burglary in progress….off the clock.

Phil, please don’t take this as me talking down to you,I can tell you’re an intelligent person, but Federal agendas and local law enforcement agendas differ.

Since Hannah forbids his deputies their freedom of speech by not allowing them to blog. I thought I should give you what I think their defense would be on that issue

skyspy
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Lifeinptc: You Forgot Something

The private citizen or business or civic group that hires the cop pays for their salary and the car/gas. It isn't free. You pay for extra protection and in my opinion they have been worth every penny. The tax payers don't pay for them.

phil sukalewski
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Joined: 03/17/2010
The corrupting influence of the free cup of coffee

Thanks for your thoughts, as they make a lot of sense. I would add the following:

- I expect that the Sheriff, will not be moonlighting in any capacity, as this creates a lot on ethical conflicts.

- In my criminal justice class years ago in college we were told about the corrupting influence of the free cup of coffee: In short, shopkeepers in big cities would offer free cups of coffee to police officers to encourage them to visit their store and in turn get the benefits of the officers' presence to deter crime.

The officers realize this and some of the less ethical begin to expect the discounts and ask for additional free stuff, like a sandwich, to hang around more; and thus the slippery slope to corruption.

While the above example tends to apply more in areas with more crime than Fayette county, it would not be crazy to think that the shop keepers in the northern part of the county would be very willing to offer a free lunch if they could get additional hours and numbers of police presence.

One last thought:
While I would like a Sheriff who has experience on the tip of the sword; as a Sheriff, I view him as the one holding the sword. Or to put it another way: Most wars are not won or lost in the trenches. Rather, the outcome is determined more by which battles the generals determine their troops to engage in.

Ed Medlin
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Joined: 05/19/2006
Moonlighting

I agree with lifeinptc that "off-duty" law enforcement jobs have long been accepted in Georgia, and Georgia law specifically permits officers/deputies exercising law enforcement authority on behalf of private employers (with permission of the law enforcement agency employing the officer). I also agree that the reasons lifeinptc listed are the arguments typically advanced to justify moonlighting and take-home vehicles. However, I believe the primary reason behind allowing officers/deputies to moonlight in uniform has been that it has been seen as a win-win for labor and management- the officers get extra income, free or discounted rent, etc., and this allows cities and counties to pay lower salaries than otherwise would be necessary.

In my opinion, the disadvantages outweigh the advantages. The practice has a corrupting influence, and I could offer several real-world examples from the Metro Atlanta area. I should add that there are state and local agencies in other parts of the country that strictly forbid this form of moonlighting (working in a law enforcement capacity, as opposed to house painting, fixing lawn mowers, preparing tax returns, etc.). In many California departments, a uniformed deputy has two options at the end of his/her shift: 1) change in to street clothes; or 2) drive straight home. If in uniform, even stopping on the way home to buy a quart of milk and a carton of eggs would be grounds for suspension. Accepting free or half rent to provide security for an apartment complex would be grounds for firing. In contrast, it is is not unusual in Georgia for academy to inform recruits about which restaurants offer police discounts, etc.

In regard to the main subject of the article, i.e. Fayette County S.O. It has some very good people, who seem to take pride in their work and to possess good attitudes toward the public.

lifeinptc
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Joined: 06/13/2010
I agree Ed M.

Fayette County does have excellent people who make us proud. That is a given.

ILuvFayette
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Joined: 12/07/2005
Part time jobs.

I believe that a majority of the part time jobs are directing traffic. It would take an extremely brave soul to stand in the middle of the road directing traffic without blue lights!

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