Cobb public safety chief resigns; says police force needs more… |


Cobb public safety chief resigns; says police force needs more… |

Cobb County’s top public safety official resigned Monday with acidic four-page letter to county manager David Hankerson, alleging that police staffing levels are dangerously low and that Hankerson and other county officials refuse to do anything about it, even though they have known about the problem for more than a year.

Jack Forsythe, director of the county’s Department of Public Safety, also said in the letter that the Atlanta Braves new stadium will exacerbate the problem if the county doesn’t add more officers.

“For over a year now, the decision to increase the police department’s authorized strength has been delayed or denied by continuing to request additional information that … is not available, or (by) requests of duplicate information that has already been presented,” the Jan. 6 letter says.

Forsythe went on to write that Hankerson has stonewallled his effort to commission a study that would document the need for more officers. Cobb’s police department has more than 600 sworn officer and 150 civilian employees. Forsythe also was in charge of the county’s fire department, 911 operations and animal control unit.

“You have stated that the county is not ready for what the report will say nor can the county afford the number of officers the report will say we need, therefore the study has not been given approval from your office to proceed even after I was directed” by Commission Chairman Tim Lee to have it completed, the letter says.

Forsythe’s resignation takes effect Jan. 24 but he is on leave until then. Hankerson will recommend to the Cobb County Commission that Fire Chief Sam Heaton replace him permanently. Heaton served as interim public safety director from August 2010 through January 2013, and will again handle the job on an interim basis until the commission acts on the recommendation.

via Cobb public safety chief resigns; says police force needs more… |

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