FED-UP WITH THE CITY OF FAYETTEVILLE'S POLICE CHIEF
March 25, 2013
To Whom It May Concern:
I overheard an officer speaking to a citizen that was inquiring on patrols in the pavilion due to 2 armed robberies and learn that the department is so short staffed that on any given day there are only 4 officers on the patrol for the whole city. Reason given was that they have had over 40 officers leave the department in the last 6 years and more were leaving to date. When asked why so many were leaving it was due to no pay increases for the past 5 to 6 years, the moral state of the department and lack of support from the department and city hall.
This got me wanting to do my own investigation because of how alarmed I was as a taxpayer and the safety issues while I patronize the businesses in the city. I did research online from the local paper as well as began talking to other citizens and some business owners and found out the following;
The City Manager, All of the Department Heads and soon The Chief of Police took an early retirement and are returning to their position Part-Time. I question not only how you run a government and Police Department Part Time, but the legalities of this set up. Is this not double dipping? In researching this retirement and the return of getting paid part-time it appears that these individuals who are claiming in the local paper as saving the city money, just gave themselves a big fat raise close to the upscale of almost 40% while the police, fire & other city personnel has gotten nothing in the past 5 to 6 years.
In other articles I’ve found Chief Heaton stated how crime has gone down and the City Manager, Joe Morton stated how the police department is full staff and the growth process is increasing and everything is going very well. Are you kidding? 4 officers on patrol for the entire city trying to not only handle calls, but also patrolling the businesses, i.e. the Pavilion and never mind the neighborhoods I guess the residence are just left to protect themselves. Has the City Manager and the Council Members not driven up Hwy 85 lately? Empty rundown buildings, over grown landscape, trash everywhere, no MAJOR shopping venues or restaurants in comparison to Peachtree City and Newnan. Over the past several years Major Brand Name business establishments have picked up and moved their businesses to the Newnan area. In researching this I realized, Fayetteville doesn’t even have a Bookstore anywhere in the city since Barnes & Noble left.
I found out that the City Manager, Joe Morton and the Council was trying to back door in selling the Fire Department, A major service, to Fayette County. During this process the City Manager advising the Fire Personnel that the city was not going to do any such thing and when we caught him in this lie, he fessed up that yes he lied to them. This action would have cause a major increase in the taxpayers of the County Fire Tax.
The City of Fayetteville has expressed they are broke to their personnel and that’s the reason they can give pay raises, but I found that several years ago when the bricks were laid at the square that they received a grant for that, BUT THE CITY HAD TO PAY IN THE HUNDRED’S OF THOUSAND DOLLARS to match this grant. The metal signs in the square area, again the City advised they received a grant and the City’s portion was in the estimate of $30,000 to match. Are you kidding me?
I found that Chief Steve Heaton preaches integrity to his personnel and to the citizens. I recently heard rumors that his son received two DUI’s, arrested for Violation of Probation in which Daddy bailed him out. He then went to not only local agencies trying to get them to hire him, but to agencies throughout the state. When that did not succeed, he got him a job at Perry Police Department. In researching Chief Heaton, he spent many years with the Perry Police Department and then went to Valdosta Police Department. Funny how his son with 2 Dui’s got a job with the Perry Police Department. I also found out that his son quit the Perry Police Department and moved to the metro area. He now works for Meriwether Co. SO. I have also heard rumors that Chief Heaton has been busy trying to use his officer/title in an attempt to try and illegally have these DUI’s removed from his son’s record.
In speaking with a few business owners that have contact with the officers of the Fayetteville Police Department they have expressed the high level of stress and hostility they face each day by the administration of the Police Department. They have expressed numerous federal law violations that consistently take place by the hands of this administration, the demand to write tickets for revenue for the city and receive backlash when they don’t, the overwhelming amount of stress that has effected numerous officer’s health status and the overwhelming number of officer’s that have had to file bankruptcy or lose everything they got because of their pay going backwards. It was expressed that City Hall does not care about them and they have no one to turn to. It was mentioned that many have said that if the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office wasn’t helping them out, they would not be able to handle the workload.
I am hoping that you will not allow these illegal, unethical and dishonest practices to continue. I can assure you, I, along with other citizens in Fayette County will not stop until Chief Heaton is held accountable and stopped from any further wrong doings.