Thomasville-Thomas Co. SWAT Unit separate

Thomas Swat Unit Separation

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - Roughly 90 days, that’s the amount of time the Thomasville-Thomas County SWAT Unit has left before it officially becomes two separate teams.

This notice comes after the sheriff informed Thomasvile’s city manger of his decision.

Colton Avenue is where Robert Carter II, the man who is being charged for the murder of Deanna Shirey, used to live.

Neighbors on the street said they saw first hand how the Thomasville-Thomas County SWAT Unit worked together.

Some said this change could be for the best.

“I think they need to, because maybe one of them can get things right," said Charyl Cliett, a resident.

The Thomasville-Thomas County SWAT Unit isn't the only thing that's divided.

Cliett lives in the area and said this is the best move for the city.

“Well, if they don’t see eye to eye on the case or anything, how are they going to come to a mutual agreement on anything?” asked Cliett.

According to a letter from the Thomas County sheriff, the working relationship makes it impossible to function in an effective manner.

John Dekle also lives in Thomasville and believes, if that's the case, then a separation is necessary.

“I’m all for change, as long as it’s for the betterment of the community,” said Dekle.

Which newly named Thomasville Police SWAT Commander Sgt. Scott Newberry, agrees with.

“We’ve always had excellent services here in Thomasville, and our services are not going to change just because we’re splitting up the teams," said Newberry.

Newberry said the officers have appropriate equipment needed to protect the community.

“Thomasville Police Department had their own SWAT team. We’ve already got highly trained officers and veteran officers that will make up the team," explained Newberry.

Newberry said they’ll operate as a nine-man team. If additional resources are needed, he said the Thomas County Sheriff’s Office’s SWAT team and other agencies will assist.

“For the most part, I believe they’ve been able to work fairly closely together through the years and I don’t see there to be much change," said Dekle.

Effective June 30, the departments will operate independently of one another.

Newberry said the SWAT teams are in transition mode, but are already working cases separately.

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