In light of increases in crime across not only Albany, but across the nation, it’s very encouraging to see the Albany Police Department increase its number of officers to protect our community.
Recently, a dozen men and women were sworn in as Albany police officers. When Chief John Proctor was hired 16 months ago, he had 42 entry level vacancies and 27 supervisory vacancies.
His primary goal was to bring in more street-level officers to have a greater presence in the community. The new officers had to go through 10 weeks of physical and weapons training, defense tactics and various tests. Chief Proctor has been steadily increasing the number of officers hired in Albany — officers who have prior experience and not just looking to hold a job.
He also aims to hire quality officers. He interviews from across the country and in fact, some of the new officers recently sworn in are from out-of-state and are now calling Albany home.
This is a major step in bringing the Albany police force back up to a full force. Although it hasn’t happened over night, we commend Chief Proctor on being deliberate in his hiring of new officers to protect our community.
A case for T-SPLOST
For years, south Georgia hasn’t really gotten its fair share of money from the Department of Transportation. Many needed road projects have been delayed or called off altogether. Soon, we’ll have a chance to change that.
A new state law allows counties in various regions of the state to team up charge an extra penny sales tax and use the revenue for projects in that region. Dougherty County would be part of a 14-county southwest Georgia region.
City and county leaders throughout our area have already started meeting to come up with a list of proposed projects to put before the voters in 2012 — things such as widening Highway 133. Leaders agree having a major four-lane highway all the way from Albany to Valdosta would have a major impact on the area’s economy. We hope those leaders will work diligently together to come up with a strong list of projects they can sell to the voters. If they don’t, the transportation SPLOST will be doomed.
Nobody likes to pay more taxes, but sometimes paying a little can have a big payoff. Hopefully, that will be the case with the T-SPLOST.
Written by Jim Wilcox, general manager of WALB.