Varnell mayor intends to veto vote that disbanded police department

Varnell mayor intends to veto vote that disbanded police department

July 12th, 2017 by Tyler Jett in Local Regional News

Varnell Mayor Anthony Hulsey said during a news conference this afternoon that he will veto the council's vote to eliminate the city's police department.

The council voted 3-1 to disband the agency, leaving law enforcing duties only to the Whitfield County Sheriff's Office. Councilman David Owens, who chose to eliminate the department, said this will make the city more efficient.

According to the city's most recently publicly available audit, Varnell spends $300,000 annually on public safety. It also produces $200,000 through fines -- mostly through traffic tickets.

Hulsey, a Georgia State trooper, said Tuesday's vote was an "injustice." In particular, he criticized the lack of public notice.

The council held a special called meeting to discuss personnel. Hulsey and City Attorney Terry Miller said they didn't know the council was going to vote on this issue.

The council has the ability to override Hulsey's veto. He told residents at today's conference that they should attend the next council meeting June 25 to pressure the elected officials to retain the police department.

Chief Lyle Grant said the agency has five full-time officers and some part-time members.


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