District Attorney: Relationship with law enforcement is vital

District Attorney: Relationship with law enforcement is vital
D. A. Brad Shealy (Source: WALB)
D. A. Brad Shealy (Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)
(Source: WALB)

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) - A strong message has been issued by Southern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brad Shealey.

"If we don't do our job, then there are victims that are not being served. There are individuals that are committing crimes that are not being prosecuted. We will never get to that point," said Shealey.

Now, both the city and District Attorney's office are speaking out.

"We are going to continue to do the job that we do, we are going to continue to prosecute cases and bring justice to the people in the community," said Shealey.

The Thomas County District Attorney's Office said for them everything is business as usual. This message comes a day after the release of letters detailing, 'an erosion of trust' and 'dysfunctional relationship' with the Thomasville Police Department.

"We are going to continue to work with the Thomasville Police Department, work with the City of Thomasville, to work through these issues so we can move forward and serve the citizens," said Shealey.

Shealey said he's seen disagreements before between departments in other counties, but maybe not to this magnitude, now coming tp the attention of the community.

"It is what it is. The public certainly has a right to know what's going on with the agencies," said Shealey.

Shealey said it's critical to maintain good communication lines between all departments they work with.

"The letter talks about not being inclusive and cooperative in situations. But It's not like we aren't talking to each other, we still communicate, we still have ongoing everyday processes. It just needs to be strengthened and built up, because it dropped down to a point where there are these issues," said Shealey.

Shealey said Thomasville's Interim City Manager Kha McDonald has told his Thomas County office staff that she is working with city staff and leadership to rectify the situation.

"Obviously work on getting the case files in on a timely fashion, which I think they are taking a position to work on that as well," said Shealey.

McDonald released a statement today on behalf of the police department that reads :

On April 17, 2018, the City of Thomasville received a letter from the District Attorney's Office for the Southern Judicial Circuit outlining concerns related to its working relationship with the Thomasville Police Department. "The City of Thomasville takes the matters contained in this letter very seriously," said Kha McDonald, Interim City Manager. "We hold the office of our local district attorneys and staff members in high regard."

McDonald said that as an organization, the City of Thomasville – including the Thomasville Police Department – is diligently committed to establishing and maintaining positive working relationships with the District Attorney's Office and all other law enforcement agencies and community partners. McDonald stated that after receiving the initial communication from the District Attorney's Office last week, an assessment was immediately begun of internal policies and practices. "Through this evaluation, we hope to identify opportunities to improve our public safety management policies, procedures, practices and activities that ultimately impact the level of service to our community and other law enforcement agencies," she said.

"The goal of the City of Thomasville and the Thomasville Police Department is to work to re-establish and strengthen communication and the delivery of service," said McDonald. "The relationship between TPD and the District Attorney's office requires mutual trust and dependence on one another to provide optimum service to the community we all serve."

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