City police departments in Cherokee County set goals for 2012
by Kristal Dixon
kdixon@cherokeetribune.com
January 22, 2012 12:00 AM | 3256 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Woodstock Police Sgt. Shane Collie works with Mann, a new K-9 partner and bomb squad dog who is a 2-year-old Belgian Malinois, near downtown Woodstock on Friday afternoon.<br>Cherokee Tribune/Todd Hull
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CANTON — Cherokee County police departments are working to maintain services while dealing with an increasing population in 2012.

WOODSTOCK

Assistant Police Chief Bart Giesey, who is serving as the city’s interim chief, said he would hold off on making any goals until a permanent replacement is made.

Giesey is serving in the position of former Chief David Bores, who retired on Dec. 31.

“It’s going to be up to the new chief when he comes in with the direction of where he wants to go,” he said.

The city had a drop in calls for service in 2011, receiving 32,873, down from 35,045 made in 2010.

Woodstock Police employs 55 sworn officers and 10 civilian employees.

Giesey said the calls probably decreased because officers performed more patrols.

The city certified two K-9s, Spartacus and Hank, in 2011; and hopes to complete training on its new bomb dog, Mann, later this year.

It also established CUFFS, or ‘Connecting Us as Friends and Family,’ that links families and Woodstock officers with its chaplain, Ron Anspaugh. The city also launched the Woodstock Police Foundation, that raises money for department initiatives such as ‘Shop With A Cop.’

Giesey pointed out that the department filled six vacancies, had 25 graduates complete Civilian Police Academy and helped train the Woodstock Fire Department’s bike patrol.

He also said the department placed two officers on the Cherokee Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad (C-MANS) Board.

“We’ve got a great bunch of officers here,” Giesey said.

CANTON

The Canton Police Department plans to implement a software program that will better streamline employee evaluation.

The department is testing Guardian Tracking, a computer program that allows supervisors to electronically record an employee’s performance for evaluations.

Interim Police Chief Todd Vande Zande said the program would allow the department to do early intervention.

The program will track an employee’s history and whether an officer has a certain number of excessive force incidents within a certain number of days.

Supervisors would be able to enter data about citizen complaints or character-related areas and would be able to use that information to evaluate officers.

Vande Zande said he hopes the department can go live with the software in the next few weeks.

Canton Police also saw a drop in calls, with 19,065 in 2011, compared with 20,676 in 2010.

The Canton Police Department has 48 officers on staff and four civilians.

The department began using a website called Crimereports.com last year to help residents track crime in their area.

Vande Zande said residents would be able to type in an address and can view real-time data of reports of crime in their neighborhoods.

He said the program is a resource to help connect the agency with the community.

“That was a big achievement for us,” he added. “We can use it to direct resources and it’s also something of a community policing component.”

HOLLY SPRINGS

The Holly Springs Police Department will continue its police academy program this year, according to its public information officer.

Lt. Tanya Smith said the department got positive reviews last year and would offer several programs over the course of 2012.

She said she hopes to update the department’s criminal investigative software, adding that the department would be exploring the latest interrogative technology, such as digital recording devices.

Holly Springs had more calls in 2011, with 30,558, up from 29,233 in 2010.

Lt. Smith said the increase in calls could probably be attributed to population growth.

Holly Springs Police have 21 officers and one civilian on staff.

The department expanded its training opportunities last year by inviting a U.S. Secret Service official to discuss new trends in fraud cases, Lt. Smith said.

“We are going well above and beyond the standard training for officers,” she said.

She also said the department has offered training on how to communicate effectively with citizens and how officers can increase their visibility.

“We’re very proud of the strides we’ve made in our training,” she said.

She also said the department implemented a K-9 program and hired Lt. Sam Rentz to run the program for the department.

It also implemented a bike patrol, which Lt. Smith said allows officers to reach areas they were previously unable to access with patrol cars.

The department also updated its fleet with new Dodge Chargers.
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