Recently our Board of Commissioners voted that Chairman Eldrin Bell should manage the Clayton County Police Department, causing it to be the only one that will not report to county Chief of Staff Alex Cohilas.
As per the Clayton News-Daily, this resolution “. . . gives the chairman the ability to make all decisions concerning operation and management of the police department, as well as the unilateral ability to hire and fire the police chief”.
Although this move was opposed by Bell (as well as Commissioner Michael Edmondson), it kind of makes sense since the CCPD could take advantage of the Chairman’s experience (as Atlanta’s police commissioner) supposedly without usurping Chief Jeff Turner’s authority. Perhaps some issues could get resolved faster by dealing directly with Bell instead of waiting to be brought before the full BOC.
But aside from his claim that this move violates state law, Bell doesn’t believe he has the resources to manage the CCPD properly anyway. And what doesn’t make sense is after finally getting the Chief of Staff position in place, why change the guard now? Despite all of that, residents who support Chief Turner are concerned that this is a subtle way to begin the process of ousting him. Stay tuned.
In addition, the CCPD is trying to get accredited by CALEA, and could use some public support. Residents can offer comments to the assessment team during a public information session happening at 5:30 p.m. today at CCP headquarters (7911 N. McDonough Street, Jonesboro) and/or via telephone (770-477-3918) between 1 PM and 3 PM.
Finally, our BOC will meet with the Clayton County Legislative Delegation in a Roundtable session tonight at 6 p.m. in Room 101 of the Clayton State University Center for Continuing Education (2000 Clayton State Boulevard, Morrow) to discuss county priority items to be presented in the 2010 Georgia General Assembly. Citizens are encouraged to attend.