2016-10-12 / Front Page

State Law Enforcement in Colquitt

by Terry Toole


Georgia State Patrol Capt. Buddy Johnson welcomed everyone to the monthly Georgia Board of Public Safety meeting held in Colquitt in October. Georgia State Patrol Capt. Buddy Johnson welcomed everyone to the monthly Georgia Board of Public Safety meeting held in Colquitt in October. If you were in Colquitt last week, you might have thought something was happening that required lots of law, and you would be right. Many of the top law enforcement officers of the state were here to enjoy what Colquitt does best, show real southern hospitality at its very best.

With the invitation of Chief Craig Tully, for the first time in the history of Miller County, a state board meeting was held right here in Colquitt. On Wednesday, October 5, and Thursday October 6, Colquitt hosted the Georgia Board of Public Safety Board meeting.

When Colquitt was being thanked for the gracious invitation to the state guests, Chief Tully and those attending thanked his wife, Cindy, and Colquitt/ Miller President of the Chamber of Commerce KaCee Holt for making the great event happen.


Marcus Cooper, an the eighth grader at Miller County Middle School, amazed the crowd with his performance of “God Bless America.” Marcus Cooper, an the eighth grader at Miller County Middle School, amazed the crowd with his performance of “God Bless America.” The Georgia’s Board of Public Safety was created in 1937 to oversee the day-to-day operations of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, which consists of the Georgia State Patrol, the Georgia Motor Carrier Compliance Division (MCCD) and the Capitol Police. This Board also oversees the day-to-day operations of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Governor Nathan Deal serves as the chairman of the Board of Public Safety with Mr. Ellis Wood serving as the vice chairman. The Board has its official meeting at one school system each year, so that the students can see state government at work. Colquitt, along with the Miller County School System, was chosen as the location for this year’s State Board of Public Safety Board meeting.


Colquitt goes whole hog in feeding, and the MCHS Band performed for top Law enforcement on these special days down South. Colquitt goes whole hog in feeding, and the MCHS Band performed for top Law enforcement on these special days down South. The Board and the Command Staff of the Department of Public Safety, Georgia State Patrol, GBI and the Public Safety Training Center arrived in Colquitt Wednesday evening. The group attended a southern dinner of whole-hog BBQ with all the trimmings catered by MSM Meats, including swamp gravy by Billy Kimbrel, at the Colquitt Miller County Fire Department. Joining the BPS for dinner were active and retired State Troopers from Post 14 Colquitt, local law enforcement and firefighters and their families.

Vice Chairman Ellis Wood called the group to order and then introduced Colquitt's Mayor Jimmy Phillips, who welcomed everyone to Colquitt. After the dinner the group was treated to a special performance of Swamp Gravy's newest production, “Home,” in Colquitt’s historic Cotton Hall Theater. The guests enjoyed the performance and for many of them, this was the first time they had been to Colquitt and seen Swamp Gravy, the official folk life play of Georgia, which draws thousands to town each year. Thursday morning began with a home-cooked breakfast at the fire house and then the guests were escorted to the Miller County School for the official October Board meeting by Police Chief Scott Worsley. After arriving at the school, the Board enjoyed a mini-concert performed by the Miller County Pirate Pride Band. One Board member remarked that the only way to describe the performance was, "Wow! That was excellent." After the band’s performance, Vice Chairman Ellis Wood called the meeting to order and introduced Georgia State Patrol Captain Buddy Johnson. He introduced the Georgia State Patrol Honor Guard who presented the colors of the United States Flag and the Georgia State Flag as they were led in by Georgia State Trooper Dan Bray, who is the official GSP bag pipe player. The National Anthem was then Performed by the Miller County Pirate Pride Band. Georgia State Patrol Sgt. Craig Singletary of Colquitt’s Post 14 gave an outstanding devotion to the students and opened the meeting with prayer. Then, Marcus


Dan Bray is the official GSP bag pipe player. Dan Bray is the official GSP bag pipe player. Cooper, an eighth grader at Miller County Middle School, amazed the crowd with his performance of “God Bless America.”

Lt. Colonel Russell Powell then explained what the duties of the Board of Public Safety was. GBI Deputy Director Dan Kirk, Georgia Public Safety Training Center Chris Wigginton, and Georgia Department of Natural Resources Major Stephen Adams were then introduced. Each director of the state agencies and their staff then gave very informative programs to the students. These programs were all promoting safety and making the right choices in life. Warnings were given to avoid drugs and gang activity because both of these roads lead to destruction. The students were encouraged to always have integrity and the courage to do the right thing.

After the presentations, a formal meeting of the Georgia Board of Public Safety was held, and several issues were acted on to improve these agencies’ ability to provide safety for the citizens of Georgia. When the meeting was adjourned, board members departed Colquitt and traveled across Georgia to get back to their hometowns.

The next meeting will be November 10 in Forsyth, Georgia, at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

From all reports and talking to state officers, sheriffs from area counties and many special guests, they enjoyed their stay in Colquitt and look forward to returning to a Georgia town that represents the South.

Our guests and their guests were shown Colquitt/Miller County hospitality and invited to come back anytime.

Chief Tully thanked them all for coming and enjoying our folks and facilities. He thanked his wife, Cindy, and COC President KaCee Holt for all the planning and all those who made the two days so successful.

Y’all come back!

Several hundred photos of this historic event were taken and can be viewed on our website . This is a free service of this newspaper, just click on dotphoto.

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