I would first like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of the readers of Patch, who expressed their thoughts of outrage through comments, emails, phone calls and blogs regarding my husband’s lack of recognition for 25 years on the Powder Springs police force.
Jim started as a patrolman and worked his way through the ranks to lieutenant, patrol commander. Of course, I am really not surprised that this outrage did not bring our mayor or council members to stand up and acknowledge this “oversight” or “mistake”—call it what they may—to rectify this situation.
My husband worked hard during those 25 years for the city. He was the city’s first crime scene tech and first detective. He also trained and used its first narcotics dog and his own horse for the city’s first mounted unit.
While working undercover, he brought in the first major drug bust, which ended in the seizure of drugs, automobiles and a significant amount of cash.
He missed many school, church, and family activities while he was serving the citizens of Powder Springs. Even though his children and I missed having him at many holiday celebrations, we were and remain very proud of what he did while working for the Powder Springs Police Department.
I guess that’s why, as I write this, I realize he did it for the citizens, not the “powers that be” who occupy air-conditioned offices on hot days and warm offices on freezing cold, snowy, icy days—luxuries police officers do not have.
But this goes with the territory. My husband loved what he did, and had it not been for an incident with a young man, my husband would still be doing the job he so loved. The young man was strung out on drugs, running over and injuring two victims in Powder Springs, one almost critically.
Because of injuries Jim received during the apprehension and arrest of this felon, his doctors would not release him to return to full duty as a road officer. Also at the time, there were no “desk” jobs made available to him. Therefore, he had no other option than to retire.
I would have thought that the mayor and council would have seen fit to show their appreciation of his service for all of those years. I am very disappointed and hurt that they chose not to do this.
Jim is one of only three officers to ever have retired from the Powder Springs Police Department. The previous two received retirement badges and a luncheon, and one received his service weapon.
City officials complain they don’t have the money. However, the cost of the badge is under $100; they have more guns than they have officers; and I’m sure a restaurant or two in town would have been happy to give them a special deal on a luncheon.
I have nothing against the new chief, as I don’t even know him; however, instead of the $10,000 they paid him to move here, maybe they could have given him $9,800 and used the remaining funds to recognize one of their longtime officers.
In fact, at the time of Jim’s retirement, the only officer who had been with the city longer was former chief Rick Richardson. Twenty-five years is a long time, and then to go without recognition—the mayor and council members should be ashamed.
However, I want to thank those of you who have shown us an outpouring of appreciation during this time—you, the citizens of Powder Springs. After all, he did it for you; it was never for them.
—Lois Freeland, Powder Springs