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Douglasville ponders police retirement age
by Bill Baldowski
January 31, 2014 12:13 PM | 1510 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Bill Baldowski
Douglasville Councilman Mike Miller and Douglasville Police Officer Billy Wallace pause before climbing into a police cruiser for Miller’s recent ridealong.
Staff / Bill Baldowski Douglasville Councilman Mike Miller and Douglasville Police Officer Billy Wallace pause before climbing into a police cruiser for Miller’s recent ridealong.
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The Douglasville City Council is reviewing its retirement age policy for police officers.

The city’s police officer retirement age is 65.

Although this issue came up in a recent city council work session, Douglasville Mayor Harvey Persons said the council’s review should in no way be inferred that city officials are concerned about the physical condition of city police officers and their ability to protect the public.

“Our police department is nothing short of outstanding,” Persons said.

Persons said the city council is sensitive to the retirement question, but also needs to be sensitive to the physical safety of Douglasville and its residents and businesses.

Although continuing to emphasize his support of the police department, Persons said he and the city council are also cognizant of what happens when people age.

“As a police officer gets older, say 60 to 65, does that officer need to be chasing the bad guys down the street?” he said.

“We all understand that due to the aging process, it gets more difficult to do some of the same things at the level we did them when we were younger.”

Persons said the council is taking a hard look at the retirement issue.

“We want to be very responsible in that regard because when you talk about adjusting the retirement age, we need to be cognizant of the long-term effect relating to the safety and stability of the city,” he said.

Although other council members like Doug Lequire and Carl Pope have discussed this issue, new Councilman Mike Miller went one step further in getting a personal view of Douglasville police officers.

Last Friday, Miller rode with an on-duty Douglasville officer for more than five hours just to know what that officer experiences on his shift.

Miller was surprised a majority of Douglasville police officers had less than two years on the road.

“We need to make adjustments in our police officer salaries to be more competitive with other municipalities,” he said.

The city staff is to bring recommendations on any changes needed in regard to officers’ retirement age to council members.

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