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BOE to get school police assessment report today

ALBANY — The Dougherty County School Board will hold its mid-monthly meeting at 11:30 today, where the hot topic of discussion will be a much anticipated report on the effectiveness of the Dougherty County School System Police Department.

In mid-June, citing concerns from staff and some Board members, DCSS Interim Superintendent Butch Mosely asked two retired Georgia Bureau of Investigation agents and a former police officer to look into the effectiveness of the Dougherty School System’s Police Department — with Chief Troy Conley and Assistant Chief J.C. Phillips at the center of attention.

“I decided to ask for the assessment after I kept hearing complaints from several school board members and current and former DCSS police officers,” Mosely said. “When you are new in town everybody runs to the new superintendent with stories and complaints and usually the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

“I’d like to stress that this type of assessment is not new for us, it’s just like the others we’ve done here before. I’m not after anybody’s job. Let’s complete the assessment, get the report and let the cards fall where they may.”

Board member Darrel Ealum later sent Mosely a letter outlining 11 specific areas he wanted the agents to look at including:

  • Promotion protocols within the department.
  • Officer Safety.
  • Rank Structure, particularly what Ealum sees as a top-heavy structure.
  • Complaints/Retaliation.
  • Force meetings.
  • Overtime.
  • Respect from superior officers toward subordinates.
  • Vehicles.
  • Training.
  • Investigations.
  • Overall leadership.

The team conducted more than 30 interviews with board members, system administrators, outside public safety officials and all 20 full-time DCSS police officers. The team also collected supporting documentation and examined police department facilities.

“We’re conducting an assessment, not an investigation,” team leader and 31-year former GBI agent Gary Rothwell said during the assessment. “We’re here to find out what they do well, what needs improvement and make suggestions. We want to see what they are doing, how they are doing it and identify problems.”

Mosley and Conley met on Tuesday, where the superintendent discussed the report’s contents with the chief.