Plains P. D. goes 10-7 - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Plains P. D. goes 10-7

Police Chief Gwen Dawkins Police Chief Gwen Dawkins

August 7, 2003

Plains -- In the police radio chart of "10 Codes," 10-7 means: Out of Service.  As of Thursday, the two-person Plains Police Department is also out of service.

The Mayor and City Council took a vote to dissolve the department, but will not say why.

Both Plains police officers are fired and the Sumter County Sheriff's Department will now provide law enforcement for Plains. Mayor Boze Godwin and city council members say they have no comment. Disbanding the police department will save $100,000 a year, but money was not the only reason they closed the department.

The Plains city clerk oversees the clean out of the Police Headquarters. All the equipment is being cataloged and stored. The one city police car sits by the building, but will not be used for patrolling again.

 Police Chief Gwen Dawkins and Assistant Chief Charles Pine were fired. But Chief Dawkins had been suspended for a week before the department was shut down. Mayor Godwin suspended her for not completing paper work. The Mayor has been quoted as saying the Police Department has been a constant source of trouble.

People in Plains were surprised how suddenly the change came. Everett Chambliss said "Just looking at a work schedule of our Police Department. With two full time and one part time Police, it was impossible to get around the clock service." Annette Howard said "I don't know why they shut it down. All I know, I do think we need a Police Department. I thought the world of Gwen, who was our Chief."

The Plains Police Headquarters will be turned into a sub station for the Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Robert Ingle said they are ready to cover Plains. "Our Deputies instead of coming here to make reports, those working in that area will utilize that office. There will be an additional presence of our Deputies in the Plains area."

Most of the people we talked with in Plains Thursday hope the city will resume a hometown Police Department in the future.

posted at 4:12PM byjimw@walb.com

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