“We need to quit kicking this can down the road,” he said. “We either agree to do it or not.”
Miller said he supports the idea of a countywide drug task force and that he is tired of criminals crossing jurisdictional lines to avoid swift justice.
“I’m willing to do what it takes to get the job done,” he said during the group’s meeting on Thursday, Feb. 28.
His comments came after Cedartown Manager Bill Fann gave a report on options for a consolidated drug task force.
Fann said local law enforcement officials support the proposal and that he was pleased with the team spirit evident during a recent meeting.
“Everyone seems to be excited about the idea,” he said.
He suggested that a survey of assets, structure and available funding sources are needed before any final plans are presented.
Committee members debated and finally agreed that no elected official should be a part of an oversight board.
Polk County Commission Chair Jason Ward said a draft proposal would be sent to each governmental entity. If a commitment is given, the plan will proceed.
Rockmart City Manager Jeff Ellis gave a presentation on consolidation of police and court services.
“There would be no job loss if this plan becomes reality,” he said.
Ellis said consolidation of law-enforcement service delivery would bring together resources of the Polk County Police Department and the individual city departments of Aragon, Cedartown and Rockmart.
His proposal stated that the consolidated department would become a countywide function under Polk County. This would eliminate jurisdictional boundaries between the incorporated and unincorporated areas.
Service delivery by law enforcement would be provided through two primary precincts – a west precinct (Cedartown) and an east precinct (Rockmart).
East and west response zones would be established using the census map. The center would begin at Fish Creek Road in the north and Bethlehem and Hightower roads to the south.
The east precinct would be staffed with 50 employees and the west precinct with 52 total position allocations. Law enforcement personnel would determine the command structure. The department would have a chief and assistant chief.
Committee members agreed this would be a long-term process with each governmental entity becoming a partner.
Consolidation of the county’s information technology department was also discussed.
“City and county staff favor the idea,” County Manager Matt Denton said. “They agree the countywide department would need three people working full time.”
Ward suggested managers meet and work out details, including resources, staffing and financing. Once this task is completed, the process of consolidating the IT department will continue.
Attending Thursday’s meeting were Chairman Jason Ward, Polk County Board of Commissioners, County Manager Matt Denton and Assistant County Manager David McElwee; Dale Tuck, Cedartown City Commission; Rockmart Mayor Steve Miller, Aragon Mayor Ken Suffridge and City Managers Jeff Ellis, Rockmart and Bill Fann, Cedartown.