Commissioners OK purchase of radar for State Patrol post

Not wanting to repeat a costly mistake, the Grady County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night voted to purchase six new speed detection radar units for Post 12 of the Georgia State Patrol, which is based in Thomasville.
Post Commander Scott A. Woodell, a Grady County native, submitted a request to the county commission for $17,970 to purchase six new radar units. The post commander appeared before the commissioners Tuesday night to discuss his request.
According to SFC Woodell, the State Patrol has never budgeted state funds to purchase equipment such as speed detection radar, but has always had a “gentleman’s agreement” with county commissions to provide assistance since the by-product of GSP’s law enforcement benefits the individual counties through fine revenue.
The last such request from Post 12 was back in 1997, according to Woodell, when money was sought to purchase some furniture for the new patrol post.
According to Commissioner Charles Norton, who opposed that request, the GSP wrote significantly fewer tickets in Grady County for about 12 months.
SFC Woodell, in making his request to the commissioners this week, noted that in 2009 Grady County had collected a minimum of $212,008.40 in fines as a result of law enforcement activities of the GSP in this county.
The post commander said the increase in fine revenue from 2008 to 2009 was 68 percent.
Woodell also said he would not make a request of the county for items such as furniture.
“I don’t think I should ask you for anything other than equipment that will help us be more effective in our law enforcement,” SFC Woodell said.
He also noted that he’s goal oriented and sets goals, not quotas, each year for his post. “We set the bar high month by month. If we make it, we raise the bar and we feel good about working for those who help us out in a time of need,” the Post 12 commander said.
Commissioner Norton said back in 1997 when the board voted against buying furnishings for the new patrol post it was almost as if the patrol quit writing citations in Grady County.
“It would be like us saying no to $200,000 in exchange for $20,000. I’m supporting it this time,” Norton said.
The board voted unanimously to purchase the new equipment for the GSP.

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