PTC ditches 3 police captains in 'reorganization'

Will add two patrol officers, enhancing half of city's 4 patrol shifts and saving $206K a year

The Peachtree City Council voted unanimously tonight to sack three captains as a part of a reorganization of the police department which makes it “leaner and flatter” according to Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark.

It took just over five minutes for the deed to be done, including a brief explanation from Clark and a few comments from some city council members who said they didn’t like taking such actions.

Following the council meeting, one of those captains, Terry Ernst, said he was “not ruling out” a potential run for a seat on the City Council.

The other two captains being released from their duties are Capt. Rosanna Dove and Capt. Michael Claman. All three were part of the department’s administrative and command staff.

The reorganization leaves the police department with just one captain on the organizational flow chart: Capt. Stan Pye.

Clark’s proposal included the addition of two new patrol officers, which will only add coverage to two of the department’s four patrol shifts. Councilman George Dienhart asked Clark to hold off on the hires “until everything shakes out with the reorganization.”

Clark said it would be about three months before that process could be undertaken because of “other things on the table.”

Getting rid of the three captains and adding the two new patrolmen will save the city a net $206,000 a year in salary and benefits, but that figure does not include the expenditures to equip the new officers with patrol cars, weapons and other required gear.

The three captains drove older decommissioned patrol units, which almost certainly won’t be eligible to be passed down to the rookie cops because of their high mileage and maintenance issues.

Councilman Eric Imker said he wanted to make sure the city would provide recommendations to each of the released captains, and he added that he appreciated their work.

The reorganization leaves the city’s fire department as the only department not yet to have been “reorganized” via a loss in personnel following the past several years of economic trouble due to decreased property tax revenues.

Clark said the reorganization was focused on improving accountability among department personnel and an increased focus on those who provide direct services to citizens.

Clark also noted that examiners from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies recently commented that the department was more top-heavy than other departments it has reviewed, but CALEA’s final written report has not yet been received.

Because the matter was of some controversy, Mayor Don Haddix opened up the floor for citizens comments, but no one in the audience rose to speak. Perhaps they knew it was too late to change council’s mind.

Daddy O
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Backbone?

Yep Chief Clark demonstrated real backbone when, according to the news clip, he hid from the media and retreated the scene in a get-away car. Check the video report on CBS News Atlanta's website in the Counties section and than in the Metro section. He didn't even have the courage to answer the media's tough questions. Now that's a perfect example of his openness and transparency with the media and PTC citizens. He could have at least told them that he has no comment. How humiliating. I wonder when he slithered back to get his car.

Husband and Fat...
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Mr. Dienhart, I agree with the police reorganization

Start the reorganization from the top down. The FCBOE needs to do the same and this past week, they did start.

Not surprised about the mayors committee lack of clear objectives and a timeline. Typical of him not to provide any leadership. At least he will be able to say he did not fail. Hopefully someone on the committee will step up and take ownership. However, 1/3 of the group failed to attend the first meeting and no one set a schedule for the next meeting.

Think if I were you, I would take a step back and not be part of this until there are clear goals and timelines. The mayor set this up and is not providing leadership so that if a positive recommendation is received, he can take accolades for forming this committee, and any not so positive outcomes will give the mayor an out as he will say that this is what the people want so that he can blame others for the tough choices.

GeorgeDienhart
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H&F- thanks

It looked like there were some people stepping up to provide leadership. If this committee succeeds, the accolades will belong to the commitee members alone- not the politicians.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: Committee

The Committee has a mission statement in place, has already been gathering data and is doing its job.

Councilman Dienhart is not part of the committee in any way nor will he be.

He was only there for a small part of the first meetings, so he really cannot speak to what came out of that meeting.

I deliberately created a large committee because no one can make every meeting due to work and other conflicts. So, 8 attended the first meeting and it will go on a varying time schedule to accommodate others after a couple of more weeks.

The second meeting has already been held and the third is scheduled for next week.

Both you and Councilman Dienhart are wrong.

Let the Committee work and judge the results.

Enough said until that time.

Spyglass
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Don

You are not in charge.

Don Haddix
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Haddix: In Charge

Spyglass, very wrong, I am in charge of the Committee. Council has no authority over it.

Read the Charter.

NUK_1
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Don IS IN CHARGE!

He can form a committee that has no powers whatsoever and can pick who he wants on this committee that has no power! Everyone else like fellow councilmembers and citizens need to recognize this awesome power he wields as Mayor! Remember, he's not just one vote of several, he can form committees all by himself! So much power it's amazing they had to cut his salary. He should be paid at least a mil a year with the awesome powers he is given by the city charter. Look, he gets to sign documents,form his very own powerless committees, attend ribbon cuttings that he takes sole credit for, get outvoted, censured, sued and run his mouth here. He's really underpaid for all of those incredible "powers" he has.

Husband and Fat...
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Laugh out Loud

Mr. Mayor, I didn't know you had a sense of humor. Dear god, please bless this courageous group of volunteers and give them leadership from within. Amen

Spyglass
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Don

You don't get it.

PTC Observer
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Mr. Haddix - A

man that can't control his tongue is not in charge of anything. A man that doesn't take personal responsibility for his actions is in charge of nothing. A man that spreads discord among his fellow citizens is in charge of nothing.

To be in charge Mr. Haddox, doesn't require a city charter, it requires leadership and respect, character traits that you sadly lack.

BobbyBiplane
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More Patrolmen

I said it before and I will say it again -

More Patrolmen, less Captains.

Bob

ESS
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PTC Police

I have never seen such a small town where the police so routinely drive around during broad daylight and harass their citizens. Trimming the fat is probably a good thing.

Oh - and I agree - that is one hell of a paragraph up there. Who in the world has the time to read all of that? :) Someone is obviously connected to one of the three that got fired and thinks the general community is going to sympathize with them... Boo-Hoo.

istilldontknow
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Channel 46 - Unflattering...

So I just watched Channel 46's coverage of the vote - they made a point to stand in front of Chief Clark's car and advise that he "ran away" instead of answering their "tough questions".

Any way you slice it, it doesn't look good.

Daddy O
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Some of you are so right.

If it looks, quacks, and walks like a duck, it may be a duck! Chief Clark’s ditching of the three Captains is suspicious to a lot of people. If discovered that he has a hidden agenda in any part of this ruthless act, his credibility should be questioned and it would be time to quit supporting him as the Chief of Police.In my humble opinion he may have used reorganization, budget reduction, and now the Commission on Accreditation as an excuse for getting rid of these Captains. Is anyone really naïve enough to believe CALEA Assessors came to Peachtree City and officially told Skippy that his department is top-heavy without a little prodding? Since failing miserably in his original recommendation earlier this year, it appears now that CALEA has been dragged into this circus? Because he used the CALEA Assessors as part of his justification for reorganization, Council or the media should contact CALEA to verify the facts of this conversation. If Chief Clark misled City Council, employees, or any Peachtree City citizen in anyway or at any time, he should go. And for goodness sake Chief Clark, once and for all consider leaving Chief Dekmar to run LaGrange’s Police Department and not yours. If you can’t do the job, give it up to your new Assistant Chief. I hear his work will not be effected by misperceptions concerning others being threats to his position. I hope you understand that you are not invincible. You’re authority does not grant you almighty power or entitlement, nor do you have unfettered ownership of employees or the department. Understand that you can be replaced just as quickly as you ousted your Captains. I hope you didn’t trade your Captains for better technology. That could have waited or you could have purchased it with all that money you’ve been seizing. Truth be known, you could have funded a good portion of one Captain’s positions by temporarily eliminating out-of-state training and temporarily cutting the officer’s college tuition payments. Additionally, if times are truly that hard, you and the new Assistant Chief could drive vehicles that are already assigned to your fleet. It’s understood that you need new patrol vehicles for the field officers, but I hope this year’s budget does not include any new administrative vehicles, especially for you. I agree with the blogger who referred to the fact that you should have never hired a new Assistant Chief knowing that you were about to ditch your Captains. These officers have given fifteen to twenty years of service to the department each and helped make it everything good that it is today. I might add that many of the programs were in place long before you arrived. Several of these Captains met or exceeded the required education levels and job skills for Assistant Chief. If these Captains did not satisfy the Assistant Chief’s job description, than you sir failed in your job. Your job is to ensure that each Captain has the skills and abilities necessary to take charge, even during your many absences. If one of the Captains was promoted to the Assistant Chief, it would have left only one Captain’s position to be absorbed in another position. We all know that Captain Ernst was eligible for retirement and the other Captain could have remained status quo. It says something about you when you didn’t even try. City Council needs to watch your budget closely next year and the year after. If the reorganization and cost savings do not significantly accomplish what you’ve outlined as justification for ditching the Captains, than you should be fired for misleading the citizens of Peachtree City and City Council. That sounds fair to me.

Busy Bee
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Daddy O - TL;DR

That translates to "Too Long; Didn't Read".

I don't have any idea whether I agree with you or not...

NUK_1
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WallofText

Seriously?

maximus
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Wow, Daddy O

That's one heck of a paragraph.

PTC Observer
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Turns out

That our police chief has a backbone.

I thank all of the Captains for their service to our community and am thankful we had such dedication.

I am also certain that hey will find employment with their backgrounds and commendation from our council.

Bruce Jordan
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I'm not sure this will pass the smell test.

Why bring in an outsider from the chief's own backyard as Asst Chief rather than promoting one of the long serving Captains. That kind of move kills moral. By the time everyone is equipped the savings will disappear in the wash and those who remain will be demoralized believing no ones job is safe.

Husband and Fat...
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I agree with this too.

I posted earlier in the week that most wanted the schools to start reorganizing from the top down to help with the budget. The police chief decided he could reorganize from the top down and add patrolmen. I think this is the way to start.

I feel we do have a fine police force. My family and I feel safe. Mr. King, I disagree with you about seeing police vehicles parked in medians, high density areas, because in my mind, though they may not appear to be doing anything, but they are visible and do deter crime. In my opinion, the police could put an out of service vehicle in a different spot every day and this could also deter speeders.

Its a day late and dollar short for the mayor to form his committee. Its just a way for him to pass the buck when we do have to make the cuts.

justacitizen
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Run Run Run

Run Terry Run ya got my vote.

mudcat
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What can Terry do - fire Skip?

Terry does not think like that. Not a mean bone in his body. Agree that he is is good guy and a class act (ditto for Randy) but either one on city council would be a distraction from the serious business of docking Haddix's pay and allowing the section 8 senior's project to proceed. Hey, when does Racetrack open?

justacitizen
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What can Terry do?

He can bring his class act to city council is what he can do. We need honesty and good guys in office. Why you trying to muddy the waters. I said nothing about firing skippy.

mudcat
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Agree, an upgrade to council would be good

I guess you missed the sarcasm, but for the record both Terry and Randy know how the city actually works from the inside out, which I don't think is understood by council and certainly not the mayor. Both are good and honest people who would do their very best for the city. Coming up you have 1 mayor's position and Vanessa and Kim. Everyone agrees the mayor has to go and I think Kim will vacate her seat and go for it. She wins automatically, so that leaves her seat and Vanessa's. My vote for the ladies stuff would be put on hold if we have a female mayor - that's pretty cool.

BTW, the shunning of the mayor program was in full swing at the Dragon Boat Race yesterday. Pretty funny to watch. So many acted like they had no idea who he was. Maybe they didn't.

NUK_1
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Not sure Kim wins Mayor race

She's already on record as being in favor of MARTA. T-SPLOST and a helluva diatribe in favor of single-payer universal healthcare. I don't know if PTC will let her sneak by on those issues again. Imker won re-election, but Learnard may have to pay the price for the council discord that she's definitely played a role in happening.

Fleisch doesn't grandstand and simply goes about doing the job. Geez...what's her problem! :) I think she wins re-election easily and might even be unopposed because there will be people going after Learnard's seat in addition to Don's instead.

I wouldn't vote for kim unless it came down to her vs. Haddix. I'm hoping for much better and the people are out there. Randy Gaddo would have my vote and my financial support for that matter. CLASS would be a great addition to this Mayor/council and Gaddo would bring that in spades.

Robert W. Morgan
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Randy and Terry both. They would add a lot of class

Sorely needed. And I would be happy and proud to have either one be the mayor and be the one who talks to new businesses considering a move to Peachtree City. Usually it makes sense for new people to run for a council seat to gain experience and let an experienced councilperson or planning commission member run for mayor. But then in PTC, we have a history of electing inexperienced politicians as mayor. Since Fred Brown (who was previously a councilperson) we have had Lenox (new), Brown II (new), Logsdon (new) and Haddix (damaged goods, but was in fact a councilperson for 2 years).

So, if Randy or Terry want to run for mayor and the other for one of the council seats - I think that's great. Just don't be stupid and both run for the same thing. We need 2 good people on council and only one is going to be the new mayor. Besides, if the current mayor gets multiple challengers, he is likely to get into the runoff where anything could happen. Brown had 6 challengers and bad as he was, he still got into a runoff with Logsdon.

I would support either Terry or Randy against any incumbent and would contribute financially. Might even overcome my adversity to campaigning and try to help with signs and voter education.

Larry Sussberg
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3 captains

Sad this had to happen, and I hope that Terry Ernst does run for council.

Thank you to all 3 for your service to the city.

Truly sorry.

Mike King
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Larry,

Perhaps if both Terry and Randy Gaddo run for Council, much of this behind the scenes maneuvering would cease, and both intelligent and logical budget restraint could take place. After all, the only serious cuts to the city came at the expense of facilities maintenance, and we all realize the detriment to the city's appearance.

Is it just me believing that adding an assistant chief alleviates the top heavy predicament now present at PTCPD?

Robert W. Morgan
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There were 10 different ways to do this without an outsider

Why not promote Pye to replace Dupree, retire Ernst, leave Clayman alone and put Dove over the CERT, CID, etc. even if she does so as a LT?

Savings roughly the same and no cronyism smell. Sounds like being close to Chief Murray wasn't a healthy thing in the PD.

Larry Sussberg
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George Dienhart & 2 New Patrolmen

George
How about nixing the 2 new patrol officers, or at least hold off longer and let's see if we really need them or until the mayor's committee report is in. 3 months is not long enough!

GeorgeDienhart
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Larry- Council Brief for Sept 20

Larry,

My answer is in the Council Brief for this meeting. Thanks!

http://dienhartforptc.blogspot.com/2012/09/council-meeting-september-20....

Larry Sussberg
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George Dienhart

Thank you for providing a link to your blogspot.

As for the committee, why do you see it as a political move. Most people believe he won't run for re-election after taking the $10,000+.

On that point, is city council working on legislation or a modification of the city charter so it is 200% clear, not just 100% clear on the procedures for city elected officials on how lawsuits are to be handled.

PLEASE CLOSE ANY LOOPHOLES

GeorgeDienhart
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Larry

He thinks the general population supports him. I would be completely flabbergasted if he doesn't run again. I have had a series of meetings, and hope to close any loopholes.

Mike King
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Councilman Dienhart

Would you care to specify the process disagreement possessed by Captain Ernst? Should you care to answer in private I would understand.

GeorgeDienhart
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Mike King

Email me, and we can talk

moelarrycurly
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Life beyond the PTC PD

Yes, there is life beyond and the sun will come out tomorrow. God bless our wonderful captains. Take it from this guy. He knows.

http://youtu.be/2hag55xtycE

justacitizen
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really you sure about that

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/news/sex-chats-cost-peachtree-city-police-chie...

you notice his youtube video will not allow comments I wonder why. This guy was a hypocrite scumbag. Just my opinion.

Robert W. Morgan
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Totally forgot about the pervert entrapment

That was really something productive - getting those scumbags off the street. He had a 14 year-old girl - who was actually a 30 year-old cop and McIntosh graduate trolling on the internet for guys willing to hook-up in Peachtree City. I figured after the first 3 or 4 the perverts would get wise to that scam and not fall for it. But they just kept coming, on and on, one after the other. Thought it would never end.

I had serious doubts Murray was guilty of anything. I thought he was just researching new techniques or something and the city manager and the mayor were out to get him because of some alcohol bust one or both were involved in. They all got drunk with Haddix one night at Y-knots and were chasing Annie McMennamin and Carol Fritz around ala John Riggins and Sandra Day O'Conner - remember that?

Why can't we start the pervert program up again? Might distract from the mayor's $10,000 drama. Might help us get some big fines to help our bottom line.

Spyglass
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I never thought it was a good idea to invite the wierdos

to our fair City myself.

moelarrycurly
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hey, justanuninformedictizen

Am I sure about what? The whole city knows about the dumping of Murray. And it had nothing to do with sex tapes. It had to do with drinking on golf carts and spilling wine on cops shoes. Look that up, too.

justacitizen
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what??

explain..I am open to education.

NUK_1
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Dumping of Chief Murray

first off, Murray and everyone else in the city knew for years prior to this incident that everything was monitored on their computers 24/7. It was written city policy and several had been disciplined prior to Murray for violating the policy.

Secondly, a guy like Murray who was personally active in luring/busting Internet predators is going to have loads of sexually-oriented computer chat history and everything else.

I'm not making a call on whether it's a good idea to lure freaks to PTC parking lots to get busted and using resources to find them online, but this was a railroading of Murray who was negotiating to retire at that time and the city decided they didn't want to pay.

The "dump wine on shoes" was ex-city Mgr Bernie McMullen, a Fulton co middle manager goof that the Brown Council thought would be a good replacement for Jim Basinger. WRONG! He's the guy with the golf cart DUI that poured his wine out on one of our Major's shoes when they told him he couldn't have wine and drive a golf cart. Bernie the Moron also insisted that Murray be called at home and the officers refused to do that.

After that episode, relations between City Hall and PD broke down so much to the point that Logsdon took over oversight of the PD instead of McMullen, something that was against the city charter but no one really said much because it had become an unfathomable situation. Then, "sex" talk gets discovered on Murray's computer. Yeah, great times in PTC!

mudcat
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Yea, I never got that whole McMullin thing

The wine dumping, yes, sure.
Why Brown dumped Basinger and hired McMullin - have no idea. Maybe it was the new-broom-yes-man syndrome. Who knows? I really dislike Steve Brown. And Steve Black and Steve Boone and Steve Reeves and Steve Rapson and Steve Ivory and Steve Butler and Steve McQueen and Steve Hawkings and Steve Allen and Stevie Nicks and Stevie Tyler and so on.

Actually kidding except for the first two - Brown and Black. Hateful destroyers of PTC. 1 brings section 8 housing into our fair city, the other fires all the good city employees and tries to shut down building and kills progress.
Dopes. Both of them.

mudcat
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Always good to hear from Jim Murray

Not sure what the purpose of that YouTube was. Seems a little self-centered, even egotistical. Maybe he's running for mayor somewhere. He sure has a lot of hobbies. Wonder if he ever learned to use a computer.