My father, a career Army officer, impressed upon me at an early age that in order to avoid poor performance in any effort a leader must do prior planning. As a community, Columbia County can engage in prior planning on Nov. 7 with a vote in favor of the Public Safety Bond Referendum.
With the great growth in population that Columbia County has experienced in the last number of years, the demands on our public safety employees have increased dramatically. The need for training, equipment and facilities has grown along with these demands.
Formerly, as an assistant district attorney, I worked closely with our law enforcement personnel. I can attest to the incredible job our sheriff, Clay Whittle, has done in leading his department to state and national prominence. His leadership is evidenced by the acclaim the office received upon being awarded national accreditation. This accreditation is the observance by peers in the law enforcement community that our Sheriff's Office delivers excellent service in a timely manner.
You and I generally don't think of this unless we or a loved one are in distress and need law enforcement support "post haste." If we demand that our Sheriff's Office continue to deliver the level of service for which the department is recognized nationally, we must give them the tools with which to accomplish the mission.
On Nov. 7 a vote in favor of the Public Safety Bond Referendum will give the brave men and women in our fire and emergency management offices another ladder truck to get on top of "big box" stores, four more pumper trucks and needed equipment to support our trained Hazardous Materials Response Team. It will also provide for renovations to the Winfield and Burks Mountain fire stations as well as construction of a new station on one end of Ray Owens Road where these professionals currently work out of an inadequate trailer!
You can learn about these and other important public safety projects, like computer programs for the court complex on Ronald Reagan Drive, by going to www.columbia countyga.gov.
Twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, men and women in this community go to work putting their lives on the line so that we can go about our lives with the assurance of knowing that they are available at a moment's notice. The quality of service they provide doesn't just happen; it requires resources and training. Join me in taking my father's advice, and let's do a little prior planning so that these brave men and women have the tools necessary to continue to accomplish the missions we have assigned them.
Vote "yes" on the Public Safety Bond Referendum Nov. 7.
Bobby L. Christine
(Bobby L. Christine is chairman of the Government Affairs Committee of the Columbia County Chamber of Commerce.)
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