Grantville Unrest

Councilmen at odds with police chief’s drug initiative

by Celia Shortt

alt

Grantville Council member Barham Lundy questioned the need for a drug program in the city and says he wants to disband the police department.

The two Grantville City Council members who voted to suspend Police Chief Doug Jordan said it was because he spoke for the city while in uniform without getting permission from the city manager, not because he visited “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio while on his vacation.

Both Councilmen Johnny Cooks and Barham Lundy also questioned the need for a drug program in their city, and Lundy said he wants to disband the police department.

“What I have a problem with is the Grantville uniform speaking on behalf of the programs that the city is initiating,” said Cooks. “There is no plan.”

“I think what Chief Jordan has done is a slap in the face to [Coweta County] Sheriff Mike Yeager in his work to stop the flow of drugs into this city,” said Lundy. “Although he (Jordan) was on vacation, he was representing the city of Grantville — in something we didn’t know about — because he had on the uniform,” he added. “If he had been in civilian clothes, it would have been different.”

Chief Jordan does not agree.

“It’s a lie,” said Jordan. “I mentioned in my article training was free. They never gave me a chance to even talk about it. Their agenda is to fire me for my hard stance on drugs.”

Both Cooks and Lundy do not see a drug problem in the city of Grantville.

“Those kinds of problems do not exist here,” said Cooks. “The city does not have that type of crime. The biggest crime we have in Grantville is rolling up our stop signs and my dog sitting in the front yard without a leash.”

“We don’t need our officers on the interstate. We need them on our streets,” said Lundy. “A drug problem is not there.”

Cooks is not against training for the police department, but he is against it being done in Arizona.

“If we’re going to send them anywhere for this training, it will be in Georgia,” said Cooks. “Whatever training we do will be done with the competent people in our state who deal with public safety. There is no need for us to train in Arizona. It’s an insult to us, to Grantville, to Coweta, and to Georgia.”

Lundy believes that if Chief Jordan wanted training opportunities, he should have gone to Sheriff Yeager.

“If he wanted to get some pointers, then he should have gone to Sheriff Yeager, not Arizona,” said Lundy.

“I think our county’s sheriff’s department is very competent,” added Cooks.

Both Lundy and Cooks supported City Manager Johnny Williams’ actions to recommend the suspension.

“I’ve had some disagreements with the city manager, but he is stepping up to the plate now,” said Cooks. “Johnny Williams is making the kind of decisions I expected of him when I hired him.”

“The city manager didn’t want to fire him (Jordan),” said Lundy. “So, he had to find a common ground. I went with the city manager’s recommendation.

“If it had been up to me, I would have fired him for what he’d done,” he added.

According to Cooks, the city manager’s job was not threatened had he not suspended Chief Jordan.

“The city manager’s job was not in jeopardy,” said Cooks. “No city council member has that authority.”

Williams was the one who informed city council about Chief Jordan’s comments about the training and verbally reprimanded him before the council voted to suspend him.

“The city manager informed all the city council about the first article,” said Cooks. “He wasn’t happy about it, and he had problems with it — that it was not under the city manager’s guidelines. He requested to have a discussion about it at the next meeting.”

Rather than additional training, Lundy believes the police department is taking up a lot of the city’s budget and should be eliminated.

“I think we should disband it and have the county take over,” he said. “I think Sheriff Yeager could do a better job than what we have now.”

“I think the county should police the city,” he added. “We are already paying the county, so I think we should take advantage of it.”

Chief Jordan does not agree with Lundy on this matter either.

“Mr. Lundy is an older gentleman who is not in touch with today's problems and Grantville’s drug problems,” said Jordan. That (clean up the drug problem) is what I’m trying to do.”

In the midst of this situation, others want council to move on.

“I would like to put this behind us and move forward,” said Grantville City Council Member Selma Coty. “Both the city manager and our chief are fine men and serve our city well, and it is my opinion that the council should support them unless and until there is a violation of the city charter or our ordinances, which are the laws for the city.”



More Local

Cheek to head state school facilities association

Coweta County School System Director of Facilities Ronnie Cheek has been named president of the Georgia Association of School Facility Admin ... Read More


Bullying in Coweta County: A victim’s story

Twelve-year-old Jennifer Jarvis knows first-hand the effects of bullying. Jarvis claims she has been bullied since the first days of element ... Read More


US citizenship requires test...and a long wait

So what does it take to become a naturalized U.S. citizen? There are different eligibility requirements for different categories of immigran ... Read More


Video series depicts Battle of Brown’s Mill

Visitor’s to the Brown’s Mill Battlefield, and those around the world interested in the battle, can now view seven videos about ... Read More


Veterans to be honored at Christmas parade

Newnan’s hometown heroes will be grand marshals for this year’s Christmas parade. The parade will be Saturday, Dec. 13, beginnin ... Read More

WASA to issue up to $19.4 million in bonds

The Coweta County Water and Sewer Authority will be issuing some $19.4 million in bonds, which will be used to pay off bonds that were issue ... Read More