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City focuses on HPD needs, accomplisments

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POSTED: March 25, 2013 1:30 p.m.
Photo by Randy C. Murray/

HPD Chief George Stagmeier hands pins to Officers Anthony Durham and Scott Durham.

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The Hinesville Police Department played a big part in Thursday’s city council meeting. The meeting began as two HPD officers and a Fort Stewart soldier were recognized for saving a life.
Officers Anthony Durham and Scott Durham, and Spc. Patrick Wilson were recognized by the council, Mayor Jim Thomas and Chief George Stagmeier. According to a police report by Lt. Thomas M. Ovitt, on March 2 when a motorcycle collided with a pickup, Wilson stopped and began assisting the cyclist, whose many injuries included his lower left leg being nearly severed. Scott Durham arrived shortly afterward, and they applied a tourniquet. Officers Timothy Smith and Anthony Durham soon arrived. Ovitt’s report said the first tourniquet only slowed the bleeding, so a second one was applied. Emergency medical services soon arrived and the victim was flown to Savannah for medical treatment.
The officers and Wilson received certificates from the mayor and pins from Stagmeier. Officer Smith has since resigned from HPD and was not present.
The HPD was again the focus with bid proposals from five dealerships to buy four new police cars. The city had budgeted $25,000 for each vehicle. According to Stagmeier, all five dealerships’ bids were within the budget but Hinesville Ford’s $24,440 per vehicle was the lowest bid. The council approved the purchase from the lowest bidder.
Stagmeier also asked the council about filling department vacancies. He said HPD has seven officer vacancies, leaving the department with about 80 percent of its 87 authorized certified positions. He said the September retirement of an administrative assistant mandated filling that vacancy also.
“We’re down by seven officers at this point,” said Stagmeier. “We’re looking for some guidance from this body to allow us to hire some new officers.”
He responded to questions from Councilman Keith Jenkins about when the new officers were needed and from Councilman Jason Floyd if the vacancies were replacement positions or new. Stagmeier said he’d like to have the new officers trained and on the job by mid-June and reiterated that all the vacancies were replacements. The council approved the hirings.
HPD also asked to increase the fee for processing fingerprinting from $60 to $65. The council approved the request with few questions.
Other business heard by the council included a request by Assistant City Manager Ken Howard to amend the city ordinance for door-to-door solicitation to make it clearer. The council then approved peddler’s licenses for Cheryl Strickland to solicit sales for prepackaged ice cream for the Ice Cream Truck, and for Wayne Cobb with AAA Georgia Roofing to renew his peddler’s license to solicit homeowners about roof inspections.
Alcoholic beverage licenses for on-premise alcohol consumption were approved for Richard Connolly, franchise owner of the new Wingstop, and Aaron Whyte and Hortordo Wilson, owners of Island Vybez inside the Econo Lodge.

 

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