City of Grantville
Suspended police chief back at work
by Celia Shortt
Police Chief Doug Jordan returned to work at the Grantville Police Department Tuesday, following a one week unpaid suspension for wearing his police uniform during a personal trip to Arizona that included meeting “America’s Toughest Sheriff” Joe Arpaio.
“The day was nice and quiet,” said Jordan. “I got a nice warm welcome back to the office.”
“Myself and the citizens of Grantville are happy to have Chief Jordan back on duty,” said Grantville Mayor Jim Sells. “Chief Jordan has done an excellent job performing his duties in the past and we look forward to having him back at the helm of the Grantville Police Department.”
In the two days he has been back, Jordan has continued work on the drug problem in Grantville, including pulling statistics on the number of drug arrests in the city. Jordan reported that 111 drug arrests have been made in the city of Grantville in just over the past year, and in the last week, eight drug arrests have been made.
“I’m excited about getting my drug task force started,” he said.
Two members of the Grantville City Council do not agree with Chief Jordan’s belief that Grantville has a drug problem.
“Those kinds of problems do not exist here,” said Councilman Johnny Cooks in an earlier interview. “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,” added Councilman Barham Lundy in the same interview. “We need them on our streets. A drug problem is not there.”
Both Lundy and Cooks voted to suspend Jordan on the recommendation of Grantville City Manager Johnny Williams. At the Sept. 23 Grantville City Council meeting, Sells is going to ask that Jordan be reimbursed his lost pay.
“I look forward to the council meeting on Monday night,” said Jordan. “I hope all my supporters will be there.”
Jordan is also working with Sells to create a law enforcement appreciation day with Sheriff Arpaio coming to speak.
Chief Jordan was suspended for a calendar week without pay following a personal trip to Arizona that included meeting Sheriff Arpaio. Jordan and his wife planned the trip to celebrate their wedding anniversary. While there, Jordan thought it would be a great idea to see if he could meet with Arpaio. He was honored when Arpaio agreed to it.
During his meeting, Jordan wore his Grantville Police chief uniform, took a picture with Sheriff Arpaio and asked the sheriff’s advice on stopping the drug problem in Grantville. He also reported plans on fighting the drug problem in Grantville. Jordan was suspended for violating a policy given by the city manager.
“I require all my employees to inform me of anything that is not routine in nature,” Williams said. “A trip to Arizona and an article in the paper that was not discussed with me or the police committee is not routine.”
Both Cooks and Lundy voted to suspend Jordan, following a closed session at the Sept. 10 city council meeting.
“What I have a problem with is the Grantville uniform speaking on behalf of the programs that the city is initiating,” said Cooks at that meeting. “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.”
Grantville City Council Member Rochelle Jabaley voted against the suspension. Grantville City Council Member Selma Coty was serving as mayor pro-tem due to the mayor being out of town and could only vote in the case of a tie. Had she been able to vote she says she would also have voted against the suspension.