Washington’s police shutdown not forseen for Thomson
By Linda Green

Could Thomson put its police force out of work as a neighboring city has done to save money?
“I don’t anticipate it happening anytime in the near future but you never say never,” said Mayor Kenneth Usry. “In the current conditions, our police department is doing an exceptionally good job.”
On July 17, the city of Washington defunded it police department in a budget-saving measure, leaving 14 employees jobless.
“Although we have budget restraints, we have been able to balance our budget annually and unless something major happens, I really do not see that happening to us,” Usry said..
The mayor acknowledged past conversations about consolidating some city and county services. “There was talk. Nothing ever was followed through on it,” he said. There is current talk about future potential to consolidate services that currently exist. “I don’t know whether it would ever include the police department,” the mayor said. “Consolidating services benefit taxpayers,” he added.
Usry said that while he does not know all of the details leading up to Washington’s closing its police department as a money saver, he called that city’s solution “double taxation.”
The city set aside $400,000 to pay the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office to enforce the law in the next year. Some police officers are to be hired by the sheriff’s department, which will patrol Washington’s streets, with troopers from the Georgia State Patrol.

To read more on this story, pick up the Thursday, July 31, edition of The McDuffie Progress.





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