Thoughts on Jordan and Arpaio
Following the Doug Jordan and Joe Arpaio story has been both amusing and disturbing. Hopefully, this letter will offer a reality check to our citizens.
Grantville’s population is 1,360. Maricopa County's population, in Arizona where Arpaio is chief, is 3,817,117. A sheriff is almost universally elected and a police of chief is almost universally appointed. In our case, the chief of police reports to the city manager, who reports to the mayor and city council. Jordan is a mere employee who must certainly understand the chain of command (that's his business). Appearing in uniform half a continent away with a very controversial sheriff is hardly in the ordinary course of business, and his superiors have every right to know what he does when he appears in official capacity wearing the city's uniform. (Wearing the uniform puts him is his official capacity.)
Now, as to Joe Arpaio, he is famous not for his personal war on drugs, but his handling — or mishandling — of both Mexican Americans and illegal immigrants. It seems every time you scratch too deep into a Coweta story, there is some racism lurking.
So, why does Grantville need a war on drugs? Are those 1,360 residents doing drugs? I doubt it. Grantville is a speed trap. The city makes much, if not most, of its income from fines and the oh-so-lucrative forfeitures and seizures. To the uninitiated, forfeiture and seizure occur when an arrestee is using a house, car or other personal property in the furtherance of a felony. Law enforcement then seizes the property and tries to make permanent claim on it. The money and value remain with law enforcement and does not enter the normal county coffers.
Our little town of Grantville has a police force, a huge municipal building and its very own court with a real judge. Is this really necessary? Moreland, Haralson and Sharpsburg depend on our sheriff's department to fulfill law enforcement needs. Our sheriff is one of the most respected in Georgia and the United States, but he avoids the limelight and controversy. But I guess if an interstate runs through the town, there is great temptation to run the city using the revenue stream from the interstate.
I cannot recall the number of governmental horror stories to come out of Grantville over the years. How about the time the police department set up the city manager in a marijuana bust? These managers, in essence, fired their boss. Behind every story is revenue stream generated by the interstate. In my opinion, Grantville needs its charter revoked, and in the future, the public should be very leery of making renegade law enforcement officers into heroes. Do we really want Arpaio to have our back?