Georgiana hires interim police chief, gets help from Sheriff

The Georgiana Police Department has a new interim police chief while they wait for a permanent chief to apply. Mayor Jerome Antone appointed 21-year-old Officer Garrett Goodson as chief on Wednesday morning, almost three days after former Chief David Scruggs resigned from the position.

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Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden offers some advice to Interim Georgiana Chief Garrett Goodson.

Scruggs resigned Monday morning, citing problems with Mayor Antone as the main reason for his leaving. Four officers followed Scruggs’ by resigning after he did, though officials say one officer did come back later and withdraw his resignation. This leaves a total of four officers working in the Butler County city, including Interim Chief Goodson.

The Butler County Sheriff’s Office stepped up to help out the city while the council looks for new officers.

“I’m going to tell you, it’s a blessing to have Mr. Harden and his… Sheriff officers helping us,” said Antone.

Sheriff Kenny Harden said there will be at least two officers stationed in Georgiana at all times, and they will help patrol the city for as long as they are needed.

“We’re patrolling down here. To make sure the people know that there’s law and order here. If they have a problem, we’re going to be there,” Harden said. “We’re going to be around the clock here. Just like we would be in the county. If they have a problem, all they have to do is call 911, or if they actually call Georgiana Police Department, they’re going to let us know and we will respond to it.”

While there is a desperate need in the city for new officers, Antone said he and the council will take their time picking a new police force. They want to make sure they have the right people in uniforms for Georgiana.

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The Georgiana Police Department lost half the force after former Chief David Scruggs resigned.

“We want to hire qualified individuals. It’s not just about hiring bodies. Just because someone said they want to be a police officer or a chief,” added Mayor Antone. “We’re going to do a thorough investigation on the chief, a thorough investigation on the officers, so we can make sure the citizens of Georgiana are well taken care of, because it’s all about the citizens of Georgiana.”

Georgiana is taking applications for a chief and other officers at this time. Mayor Antone hopes to have a police chief candidate in mind by the next council meeting on November 7.

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