PTC ditches 3 police captains in 'reorganization'
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.