Dear Editor:

A recent article in the MDJ reported that plans are being made to build a new police precinct in northeast Cobb at a cost of about $5 million. My memory of the origins of this goes back a few years when county staff was assembling a list of projects for a SPLOST renewal. As I remember, Commissioner Birrell proposed a precinct in her commission district because her district was the only one of the four districts that did not have a police precinct.

From the recent article, I gathered that Cobb Police will have to pull people from other areas of the county to populate a new precinct.

I would urge the BoC and leaders of Cobb Police and Public Safety to take a fresh look at this idea before it goes any further. Why do we need a new precinct? In the past, I understand that officers often had to go to a precinct or headquarters location for purposes of communications and paperwork. That need may not be so great today as every police vehicle carries an array of electronic equipment that effectively makes every vehicle a traveling office. Information, alerts, images, warrants, etc., are transmitted directly to any or all officers immediately. With vehicles now assigned to each officer, there is no need to go to a precinct to swap out cars at shift change.

Moreover, Cobb Police are probably still working through the transition to the new headquarters on Fairgrounds Street. Opening a new precinct will potentially stress the organization further with more personnel bound to desk jobs rather than patrolling our streets. At a time when staffing is a continuing problem, creating a need for more managers and desk-bound police seems like a move in the wrong direction and a financial drain on the Department.

Let’s give this a serious re-think and make sure this five million bucks is going to an essential police need and not to a vanity project.

Larry Savage

Marietta

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