Safety, speed are focus of recently reinstated Smithville Police Department

SMITHVILLE, GA (WALB) - For five years, the city of Smithville had no police department.

But that changed 143 days ago when Smithville re-instituted its police department and Henry Brown stepped in as chief.

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Brown said just like any startup, there are challenges, but he's ready to tackle them one at a time.

"143 days ago I've been in office," said Brown.

A majority of Brown's time is spent enforcing traffic laws.

"Sumter County line to about the end of the city limits out here on South 19 where Lee County city limits stop," said Brown.

The goal is to stop speeding.

"They're still traveling at an excess of 75 miles per hour," said Brown.

But the speed limit is 60 mph.

"It's 60 miles an hour out there and It's not worth coming through here at 71 or 75 or even in the 80s. You're not going to get there any faster," said Brown.

Brown has also been working to stop public intoxication and riding golf carts and four-wheelers on city streets.

"Which is a violation of the state law," said Brown.

According to Brown, the challenge is getting people to obey the laws after they haven't been enforced for half a decade.

"Without any real enforcement over the past years, people just got to the point where they are going to do what they want to do and you have to address it slowly but firmly," explained Brown.

Brown explained he's made progress and will continue to do so.

"I've gained the respect of the community but there's certain elements that don't want the police here and there's elements that want them here," said Brown.

Brown will continue to make speeding one of his main focuses and keeping the community safe.

"Crime is here and the speed out there is here. I just want you to be safe coming through and slow down," said Brown.

Brown said he is looking into adding additional personnel in the future but wants to keep the police department on a smaller scale.

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