Winder Police Department earns state certification

WINDER -- Police Chief Stanley Rodgers proudly presented Mayor Chip Thompson with a plaque Tuesday commemorating the department's state certification renewal, which will remain valid for another 3 years.

Rodgers said that he is especially proud of his officers' accomplishment this time around, as both the certification manager and backup certification manager were lost due to retirement and the current city-wide hiring freeze.

"We had to jump-start our team" to accomplish state certification, said Rodgers, adding that he and other officers attended classes and did whatever it took to get the job done. Achieving state certification is a tough process, and those in charge of guiding the process have to be detail oriented, persistent and thorough. Fewer than 15 percent of agencies in Georgia earn the distinction, according to Rodgers.

Tina Deal, originally hired into the department as a dispatcher, spearheaded the certification process and was recognized by Rodgers at the City Council meeting Tuesday "for doing all the real work." The chief also publicly thanked the rest of the team by presenting each member with a certificate of appreciation.

State certification is bestowed by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

Two city school resource officers commended

Rodgers also extended a public thank you to school resource officers Missy Towe and Joey Lovinggood Tuesday, for their dedication and hard work resulting in the arrest and imprisonment of a man who was reportedly approaching children at the regional library. The two students, ages 12 and 14, attend Russell Middle School.

The offender is a parolee who was eventually charged with stalking, child molestation, contributing to the delinquency of minors and other offenses. His parole has been revoked, and he is back in jail after pleading guilty to the charges.

"(Being a police officer) is a tough job. You like to think that we don't have to worry about things like this, but we do," said Thompson.

City may revisit livestock ordinance

Nicola Gleaton recently discovered that he is a resident of the city of Winder, thanks to a letter he received from the police department stating that his chickens create a nuisance.

"We got rid of the rooster right away, since we figured crowing was the problem," said Gleaton, adding that the rooster was a "lap rooster" with a sweet disposition.

Gleaton wants to keep his hens, saying that they have become pets and that he and his family are attached to the feathered creatures. With that in mind, he asked Thompson and council members to consider amending the city's livestock ordinance to allow homeowners to own 20 or so chickens, as long as they are confined and don't create a nuisance for neighbors.

Council members agreed to revisit the ordinance and consider the matter at the November council meeting, which has been rescheduled to Nov. 9. The originally scheduled date -- Nov. 2 -- is election day.

Winder's livestock ordinance prohibits property owners from keeping cows, pigs chickens, goats and any other animals considered to be livestock.

Stormwater ordinance hearing scheduled

A third specially called public hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Oct. 14 at the Winder Community Center. The city's stormwater ordinance will be one of the topics addressed at the meeting.