Sitting on Sheriff David Davis' desk is a model Greyhound bus with "consolidation" written on the side.
For him, it's a reminder that in less than 5 months, Macon and Bibb County will have a new government, and that everyone will have to get on board.
For Davis, that means merging the Macon Police Department and the Bibb County Sheriff's Office into one law enforcement agency that will cover all of Macon-Bibb.
So far, he's already redesigned the squad cars and uniforms, but now he's finishing up the work of assigning roles for all MPD and BSO officers.
The Sheriff's Office sent out letters to officers giving them assignments. Some people have been transferred to other jobs within the agency. For roles like investigator, Davis had to call crime victims and the District Attorney to find out which investigators were best-suited for the job.
"Some instances, we've had investigators that have been investigators for quite a while and the District Attorney looks at us and says 'we don't even know who that person is,''' Davis says.
He said key qualifications included a good track record of bringing cases that can be prosecuted, and working with victims and their families.
Macon Police officers outnumber Sheriff's deputies 2 to 1, and leaders from both departments will take on major roles in the new department.
Here's the list of his new department heads and leaders and their current affiliations:
- Sheriff: David Davis (BSO)
- Criminal Investigations: Major Helen Jackson (BSO)
- Violent Crimes Unit: Lt. Shermaine Jones (MPD) & Sr. Lt. Franklin Thomas (BSO)
- Internal Affairs, called Office of Professional Standards: Capt. Gregory Rachel (BSO)
- Persons Crimes: Capt. Jimmy Barbee (MPD)
- Crimes Against Children: Sr. Lt. Paul Osgood (BSO)
- Sex Offender Unit: Sr. Lt. John Abernathy (BSO)
- Special Investigations Unit: Lt. Mike Kenirey (MPD)
- Gang Unit: Sr. Lt. Mark Franks (BSO)
- Forensics: Capt. Dennis Hagerman (BSO)
- Property Crimes: Capt. Michael Smallwood (BSO)
- District Investigations: Lt. David Freeland (MPD)
- Emergency 911 Center: Capt. Terry Timley (MPD)
- Corrections Division: Major Mike Scarbary (BSO)
- Warrants: Capt. Tracey Brazee (MPD)
Pay may also be an issue. Although MPD and BSO officers have roughly the same starting salary at around $30,000, the BSO has a pay scale based on years of experience, while MPD does not.
In one case, a Macon Police private with 25 years of experience is still making just over $30,000. Under the Sheriff's office, he would have made around $57,000.
There's an average disparity of around $5,000 per person. Davis says there's not guarantee to make that equal, but he wants the new government to consider it. The cost to fix the gap for every officer would be $1.4 million.
He says he can't guarantee that county government will award raises to make up that gap -- but he says nobody's pay will be cut.
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