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Sheriff reports retaining law enforcement personnel increasingly difficult

By Neil B. McGahee

Managing Editor

 

After recognizing retiring Crisp County Commissioner Wallace Mathis for his 18 years of service, the commission heard from Sheriff Billy Hancock about the problems he is having keeping qualified people on staff.

“In the last six months,” Hancock said. “We have lost three individuals, all 27-28 years old who have gotten out of law enforcement to go into the private sector

“Keeping law enforcement personnel has gotten to be a tough job. We are seeing young people leave either because it’s not the job they thought it was or families have put pressure to them to look elsewhere or to retire. Five years ago, I had five people per shift working in the detention center, now it’s down to four, so we have to move people around which puts us short staffed in the detention center.

“On a good note, I have been able to renegotiate the federal contract for housing federal inmates and I have a check to the county for $130,000 for one months stay.”
Hancock reported a decrease in the jail population — an average of 206 a day compared with 227 last year — and no positive COVID results in the jail.

And thanks for the Christmas bonuses,” he said.

County Manager Clark Harrell reported the county received a $787,481 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, to improve streets and drainage in the Meadow Park subdivision.

In other business, the commission:

  • Approved liquor beer and wine sales by Blackshear Beverages LLC
  • Learned the 2020 Local Maintenance & Improvement Grant (LMIG) project is complete and the 2021 LMIG paving list is ready The last project cost $191,600 per mile and there is no expectation it will be any less next time.
  • Harrell said he is trying to work on a trash problem initiative
  • He also said the county web site is very dated and recommended it be updated to be more user friendly.
  • Learned that Commissioner–elect Mark Crenshaw will be sworn in in mid-December as soon as Judge Holloway receives the paperwork from the state department.
  • Learned that Brock Road is now open and the $1.2 million bridge paid for by the GDOT Federal Impact Program is complete

The Crisp County Board of Commissioners meets the second Tuesday of each month at 9 am at the Crisp County Government Center.