Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Opinion

February 18, 2014

Letter to the Editor

Citizen... Know what you have! Crisp ain’t just a farm community

Cordele — I enjoy reminders of what I have:  Freedom to be whomever I choose and to choose who leads me in government, abundance of good food, housing, transportation, and education opportunity, and above all others the freedom to worship as I believe and God’s grace in my Savior from sin. Then, attention is called to more mundane miracles which abound about me.   

Recently, I was privileged to visit one of those in the form of the EMERGENCY OPERATIONS CENTER of the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office.  The title may sound dull but the facility is exciting.  I was given a detailed and very enlightening  tour by Chief Deputy, Col Billy Hancock.  This is a state-of-the-art facility with world-class capability to monitor and interface with emergency, catastrophic, and disastrous situations in the southeastern U.S.  

There is nothing like it in South Georgia and it stands alone in the sheriff’s office. compound of our county.  It stands alone because it is built of steel-reinforced masonry able to withstand 200 MPH hurricane force winds.  It can accommodate approx. 50 personnel with their individual electronic equipment.  There are multiple avenues of internet connections assuring contact with other agencies in all conditions.   The walls are festooned with giant computer monitors and wireless and hardwire connection opportunity is available for all attendees. Constant infeed of weather and other news info is displayed from as many sources as needed.  In a nutshell, hardly anything can go on in this world which cannot be monitored live and responded to live from our proud facility.

If we come under attack, are deluged by natural disaster, have a missing child, or perhaps get notice of some threat to our nation, we don’t have to send messages and await response because our local sheriff’s office is in constant and instant live contact with leaders, information providers, emergency agencies, and all forms of security throughout our nation.  This enables our county to not only receive immediate emergency help but to offer it to our neighbors both near and distant.  

Chief Hancock provided excellent financial history of this magnificent facility which cost around a half-million dollars.  The good news is that OUR LOCAL TAX $ DID NOT BUY IT!  Through the expert effort of our sheriff’s office, the whole shebang has been acquired by skillful horse-trading with other agencies and federal funding.  So, you see, our sheriff’s office does a great deal more than chase after lawbreakers.  I thank God for their legal protection but I am also very grateful for their quiet diligence in emergency preparedness protection.

The sheriff’s office is a welcoming and comfortable place and Chief Hancock said interested groups and individuals are welcomed and encouraged to call for a tour and demonstration of how we are served by our sheriff and his proud staff.   I’ll sleep well knowing that they’re always out there and able to tell me before trouble arrives and help me after it does.                              

Herbert Gladin

 

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