PTC’s new #2 cop comes from Fla. beach town

Headed small department just up U.S. 1 in the same county as Chief Clark

Peachtree City has passed over six current local officers to hire a new assistant police chief from outside Georgia, who like his boss has a pedigree in police management from Florida’s Atlantic beach communities.

William Edwin McCollom, the former police chief of the Village of Tequesta, Fla. was selected from a pool of 53 applicants, including six local candidates who are currently employed with the police department. A total of seven applicants were interviewed prior to the final selection, city officials said.

In his application package, McCollom notes that he left the Tequesta position in 2010 after more than four years so he could move to Wyoming to care for his sister. In Wyoming, McCollom said he worked as a general contractor for a company in Osage.

He headed a department just a few miles north of Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark’s former home of Juno Beach. Both towns are the same Florida county of Palm Beach.

McCollom was offered an annual salary of $91,011 to assume the newly-titled position in the Peachtree City Police Department, which previously did not have an assistant chief’s position; instead the police major served as the person in command when the chief was not available.

Prior to his four-year stint at Tequesta, McCollom served more than 22 years at the Delray Beach, Fla. Police Department, working his way up through the ranks to deputy police chief at a salary of $116,000 a year. When he left to take the chief’s job in Tequesta, he took a pay cut by starting out at a salary of $96,000 overseeing a much smaller department.

On his application, McCollom states that he retired from the Delray Beach position, which had 122 certified officers and 27 employees, compared to the Tequesta job in a town of about 5,500 people that had 25 full-time employees and six volunteers.

McCollom also noted that while in Tequesta, a departmental reorganization helped cut administrative costs by 24 percent while improving operational efficiency.

Like McCollom, Chief Clark too spent his early career in Florida law enforcement, joining Peachtree City in 2008 from his previous position in Juno Beach, Fla, a beach town of under 4,000 year-round residents.

McCollom lists a wide variety of police experience from his stint in Delray Beach, ranging from supervisory roles over the traffic and K-9 units to command positions from administrative and special operations to a shift commander role. McCollum also worked as a captain supervising a police district including a street narcotics unit, community patrol officers and community policing efforts.

In fact, McCollom notes that he developed a community policing methodology for Delray Beach that helps arm citizens with education “to ensure the citizens can act and will act as guardians against decline.” The program offered extensive training on “resource identification and how to use resources available to them. In the area this was implemented crime dropped and property values increased.”

McCollom lists a master’s degree in public administration from Nova Southeastern University in addition to a variety of professional training including the FBI national academy and several other classes for police executives.

Mike King
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Simply A Bad Decision

Granted, there was a vacancy, but does anyone really believe there was really the need to fill it at this time. At a time of constrained resources and budget squabbles by those elected to make decisions, could this not have been postponed?
Currently, Council is trying to work their way around an approximately million dollar shortfall while dealing with nothing but bluster from the mayor . Three budget proposals have been considered with no decision as yet. Nearly half the city's budget goes to police and fire, can we not get real and make the obvious cuts? Does anyone on Council have the courage to say no to the two chiefs who spend most of the city's revenue?
Ninety-one thousand dollars a year for an assistant plus benefits added to a seventy-five thousand dollar relocation stipend really tells the citizens where our priorities are. Morale throughout the police force has waned for there is little to no opportunity for internal advancement, but does the Council take this into consideration?
The answers are obvious, but without leadership and the courage to actually represent what is in the best interests of Peachtree City, what should we expect?

pandora
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Mr. King - correction - budget passed last night

after a painful hour of bickering.

Robert W. Morgan
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Well, I 'm sure the captains and below got the message

Message being "I'm bringing in my own people - you Murray people are obsolete" . Not surprising or even unusual, but cronyism is supposed to be suppressed or at least discouraged by the leadership of the city - yea, I know - what leadership, but still. I suspect the captain problem (if we even had one) will be solved through attrition. Expect 2 quick exits this year.

Interviewing 7 out of a pool of over 50 seems about right, but I'd like to know who from our own hometown police force was interviewed (if any) and who did the interviewing. I'm guessing Pennington and Clark and no one from council, but I don't know.

I have worked in organizations where promotion from within was a strongly enforced policy and I have worked for some that did everything they could to import management and if they did promote someone, they moved him or her across the country to be sure the new manager was not familiar to the troops. I understand both sides of that and I even understand government has its own set of rules. With that being said, morale is certainly better within a group of employees that thinks they might have a chance for advancement. i'd like to think someone at the city knows that.

NUK_1
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Public Safety is the new "For the Children" mantra

You scare the people enough that they believe there will be a violent crime wave or it will take emergency personnel 30mins to respond to your heart attack and your dept becomes immune to budget cuts.

I have never met anyone in PTC(or anywhere else) that doesn't consider public safety and responsiveness to be at the top or close to the top on their list of why they moved into a community. That doesn't mean that it's a blank check in the future or that exempts public safety from the same sacrifices others are forced to make.

The FD got screwed for years in the PTC budget and was understaffed. I doubt anyone outside that realm in PTC has any idea and it would definitely scre them if they knew just how short-staffed and flying by the seat of their pants they had to do it. The only thing keeping the FD as top quality was/is the extreme dedication of most of the employees and a robust volunteer group. Still, I hate to say it, but they aren't immune either now.

Since Skip Clark took the reigns, I see we now have plenty of "coverage" in medians with cops sitting around doing NOTHING and also like to do some regular roadblocks with even more cops sitting around doing NOTHING. This isn't serving the community whatsoever and it's more of annoying PTC residents and a mockery of "to protect and to serve." Then you have the plan to dump a bunch of Captains and restructure that gets abandoned instantly the moment a little noise is made. Next, bring in some crony of both Pennington and Clark's to be the new Major. There's some real issues here in the PD.

Most governments aren't filling "vacancies" except for a few key positions right now because they are trying to keep their budgets in line. Not in PTC. An "assistant" is never a key position, especially a 91K + benefits job.

Bostonian212
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Research on facts...

My research on this topic shows that at a council meeting several months ago the Chief (Clark) requested that the former position known as Police Major be re-classified/re-named to Asst. Chief with the pay scale remaining exactly the same. The only change was title.

So, this expenditure has been an active budget line item for many years; in fact dating back to the former Police Chief.

Before crucifying current people, research is always a good alternative method instead of attempting to establish inaccurate information.

SPQR
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Bost212

A lot of the Citizen articles seem to leave out background that the reporter probably knew about but just didn't include. Sometime I think they get a kick out of throwing bombs.

Spyglass
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So is this new guy an expert on sitting in the medians

in the f'in way? Seems to me that actually patrolling in a moving vehicle might make them more visible...but it's harder to run radar that way.

NUK_1
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The Major position has been vacant for about a year

We also have more Captains than necessary according to Pennington, at least as of a few months ago. If PTC PD could get by without a Major for a year, why can't it now when the budget is shrinking and taxes are rising? Also, why all the Captains that were deemed redundant a couple of months ago?

Yes, there has been a Major position for a couple of decades in PTC, back when economic times and the PTC budget were in much better condition. That's no longer the case at all. It is also not a "big" police department at all either and the population growth has been non-existent for years, but it is now seemingly very top-heavy with all the Captains and now an assistant chief.

NUK_1
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A new hire at 91K? For an assistant chief?

What a complete joke.

I guess PTC will next get its own version of the Patriot Act because you can get away with any expenditures in the name of "public safety." I'm sorry, but an assistant chief doesn't do anything for safety any more than the idle patrol cars sitting in medians doing all of nothing.

This reminds me of when city mgr McMullen whined after a month that he needed an assistant city mgr and they gave him one at 100K. PTC Council, stop hiring people like McMullen or Clark that cannot get the job done and were VERY unqualified in the first place to even have be hired for the job.

This time, the budget is already extremely lean and taxes are increasing. Who thought this was a good idea besides Pennington and Skippy? Sure looks like a crony hire and totally unnecessary one, especially after the proposal a couple of months ago to eliminate some PD Captains that they ran away from immediately. Now, we just added another layer at a 91K salary + benefits to the payroll. Absolutely stupid and financially irresponsible.

MYTMITE
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You have got to be kidding me!!! An assistant police chief!!!

Have we suddently become Sodom and Gamorrah that we need to keep adding to our police force? Where is all this money coming from? Oh, yeah, an increase in my taxes--silly me. Guess 'they' really have concerns about that extra hour the bars are going to be open. If this commission does not come to its senses soon we are going to Hell in a handbasket. Or is the assistant police chief going to guard that expensive bubble on Kedron pool? What next? Will this assistant need an assistant? If the police chief cannot handle the situation perhaps he was not the right person for the job. Government's answer to everything is to throw more money and personnel on the problem. Where is all this fiscal conservatism Imker was supposed to bring to the council? Sounds like the inmates are running the asylum.

MYTMITE
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You have got to be kidding me!!! An assistant police chief!!!

Have we suddently become Sodom and Gamorrah that we need to keep adding to our police force? Where is all this money coming from? Oh, yeah, an increase in my taxes--silly me. Guess 'they' really have concerns about that extra hour the bars are going to be open. If this commission does not come to its senses soon we are going to Hell in a handbasket. Or is the assistant police chief going to guard that expensive bubble on Kedron pool? What next? Will this assistant need an assistant? If the police chief cannot handle the situation perhaps he was not the right person for the job. Government's answer to everything is to throw more money and personnel on the problem. Where is all this fiscal conservatism Imker was supposed to bring to the council? Sounds like the inmates are running the asylum.

h2otom
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I smell a RAT !!!!!!!

Glad to see the good-o-boy system is working in PTC. Why do we need an assistant chief? PTC doesn't have the money to spend on anything, so lets just raise taxes, and bring in a good-o-boy from FL. Tell me Scippy didn't have anything to do with this. $91,011.00 is a lot of money to pay for someone to anwer a phone once in a while, just say'n.........

MYTMITE
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So, we haven't had a Major or Asst in a year and there has not

been a crime wave---like my OC daughter says "If you haven't used or needed it in a year, get rid of it" or in this case, don't hire it. When is the belt tightening going to start? Council cannot keep on raising taxes to cover all of their blunders and foolishness. Some day when I can afford the gas, I am going to visit that wonderful Bubble my hard-earned dollars are going toward. We could have hired several Majors and Assts for what that is costing us---what a waste. I would rather have seen us keep our maintenance people on salary who kept our streets looking nice--instead we have this yahoo company who does a half-a----ed job and we are looking more and more like a planned slum division. Go figure.

mudcat
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You could apply the same logic to the mayor

We haven't really had one for a couple of years, so why not do away with the position?

Spyglass
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Smell test?

I think this does not pass.

Oh well, how much training does it take to sit in the turn lanes on 54/74?

istilldontknow
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Well that's curious!

So this new assistant chief sure has a pedigree...served 22 years in Delray Beach, Florida.

I wonder who else worked in Delray Beach, Florida...hmmm...

http://www.thecitizen.com/articles/02-17-2011/pennington-announced-next-...

...Over the years Pennington has also served in Eden, N.C., Paducah, Ky., Delray Beach, Fla., Fairfield, Ohio and Jacksonville, N.C., the home of Camp LeJeune....

Looks like someone is hiring his friends again. While he might have been right down the road from Chief Clark, looks like he was right down the chain of command from Jim Pennington! I wonder if any internal applicants stood a chance? Another case of no one being qualified locally, I guess?

mudcat
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Look on the bright side of this - new beaches for PTC!

What other conclusion can you come to - the 3 most recent hires in PTC have strong experience in Florida beach towns,; therefore, we are beginning the transition to a beach town. Tons of sand brought in on the shores of our lakes so those teens don't get splinters or stones while hanging out at the lake. Maybe dredge Lake Peachtree, build a new island, plant some palm trees. Drake field? A mini Key West! Need a couple of waterside bars and t-shirt shops and maybe a Joe's Stone Crabs. Calligula Hills? Beachfront condos and water toy rentals! Some more sand and lifeguard chairs at the Kid's Play Park. Might want to fix up that dock on Battery Way to keep with the theme.

Need to get a really cool mayor who looks good in sunglasses and Hawaiian shirt. That would be Mike King or Vanessa or we could bring back Lenox.

Robert W. Morgan
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Maybe one of them can be part-time mayor

Having a chief and an assistant clearly leaves one of them with some extra time on their hands. Why not have him take over the mayor's duties? Don't know either of them, but surely either is better than what we have now. I'm not sure I like the idea of the mayor carrying a gun, but I sure do like the idea of the mayor being a trained professional with a good resume and no black marks for any diversion of city funds for personal use. And I really like the idea of the mayor being part-time, like it says in the city charter.

BTW, did city council rule on Mr. Bowers empty threat yet? Thought that was last night. Too busy watching the Dems stand up comedy show. The best one was the babe from Michigan who did the "Obama saved the auto unions, errr I mean, industry" bit. Good enthusiasm, big ending, no real facts, but hey, its comedy.

mudcat
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Cocaine: takes the edge off for performers like Jennifer

Jennifer Granholm, that is. She is not a "babe" you Neanderthal, she is a former Michigan Governor. Never heard of her, but her performance - and that's what it was - best thing in the entire convention. It is still up on YouTube. Not saying she was on cocaine, but it did seem like her movements were preplanned and any gubenatorial inhibitions were tamped down quite effectively. She sure wasn't nervous about performing in public. If we had more people like her and Clint the conventions would be easier to watch.

AtHomeGym
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Mudkitty & Granholm

It was her special training by Howard Dean!