October 15, 2009 Issue


Wadley chief responds to allegations against officer

Dear Editor:

A male citizen arrested for DUI, open container and obstruction of an officer made a complaint at a Wadley City Council meeting that is open to the public on Sept. 14, 2009. He was supported in his allegations by a relative that is a candidate for Wadley City Council in the November election. This relative and candidate did not witness the arrest or any part of the incident that he was complaining about. There were several untruthful statments made by the complaintant, including accusing an officer of being on the scene who had not been employed with the Wadley Police Department at the time of the incident. He also said that the had spoken to the Chief of Police about the incident prior to coming before Mayor and Council; this statement was not so. After the complaintant had given his side of the incident, he was informed that he should have consulted the police chief about the incident and filled out a complaint form. The complaintant was unaware that the officer he complained about had recorded the entire incident on the video camera in the patrol car which was made known to the mayor and council. The complainant was given a complaint form to complete so that the incident could be documented and investigated. As of Sept. 28, 2009 the complainant has not returned the form to the Wadley Police Department.

After the Wadley city council meeting ended, several citizens, officers and the complainant’s relative and candidate viewed the video and noticed that the officer was very professional to the complainant and referred to him as Mr. ___ during the incident. Also heard on the video was the complainant’s verbal non-compliance to the officer’s repeated request to produce a driver’s license and to step back to the front of the patrol car. When presented with the video, the complainant’s relative and candidate still refused to admit that the complainant was the only person acting inappropriate during the incident. The complainant was never cursed or abused as he had stated during his statements and was tasered when he resisted a lawful arrest.

The relative and candidate has made attempts to use this as a campaign platform that the police are unfair and violating the complainant’s rights. Even after viewing the video, the relative still attempts to discredit the Wadley Police Department for personal gain. It is disappointing when you make all efforts to protect all of your citizens, city and police department, and then have false, negative comments made as a campaign strategy to gain support for the election of any candidate. There are no other campaign platforms for this relative to run on so she chooses to fabricate one. Why you would sacrifice public safety for personal gain is beyond reasoning. To be fair is to be unbiased and impartial when allegations are made. An investigation was conducted and it was determined that the officer acted within departmental guidelines during this incident. Because the complainant has violated the law, he will have his day in court. But the police do not get a day in court; our trial is held in the streets of our community with out the opportunity of a fair trial to clear our names. If there is anyone who has questions or complaints please feel free to contact my office so that you and I both are aware of any incidents that you feel requires my attention. I want the citizens of Wadley to know that we are here for your protection and safety. Don’t let someone influence you based on a fabricated story and promises that they cannot keep. We all have a right to complain, even if we are wrong; that is a part of life. Whenever there is an incident, the first name called is the chief, even if I am nowhere near at the time. This is not a problem for me because that goes along with the title of chief of police and I accept this responsibility. Chief Wesley Lewis
Wadley Police Department



Church family honors victims

Dear Editor:

In loving memory of those who have lost their lives to breast cancer and in honor of the survivors: The month of October is recognized as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, however, we do not fail to recognize the many other types of cancers that exist, nor do we fail to remember those who have lost their lives to those types of cancers.

We must continue the fight against cancer by seeking a healthy lifestyle and prevention methods. Most importantly, if you are diagnosed with cancer, please seek early treatment. We can win this fight.

The Lofton Circuit Church Family
Pastor Michael Ephriam
Sandvalley, Springfield and Lofton

Principal discusses literacy with inmates

Dear Editor:

On Thursday, Sept. 10, Ms. Julia Wells, Principal at Wrens Middle School attended a session with the Jefferson County Correctional Facility, along with GED Instructor, Ms. Ella Palmer and Deputy Warden, Mark Williamson. Ms. Wells spoke to a target audience, (inmates) about the importance of literacy and why it’s so important to be able to read and comprehend. Ms. Wells, an educator of many years, with lots of experience, emphasized the drawbacks of illiteracy and incompetence. She expressed the concern and the high calling for education, as a whole.

As the audience listened to Ms. Wells’ gift, as well as, talent; they emerged with gratitude and solicited additional guidance for growth and development. She expressed her educational concern for inmates; mainly because, “So many people, young and old, are giving up too fast; although, they made mistakes and bad choices.” Ms. Wells stated.

She encouraged the inmates of Jefferson county correctional facility, not to quit, after receiving their GED. She quoted, “people are being destroyed because a lack of knowledge and divine purpose.” She provided them with life experiences as well as, examples to engage her audience. For example, she asked each student about their goals and what where they are doing to fulfill them? Some replied, “That’s why I decided to get my GED, so I can go to a Tech school, once I leave here and to provide for my family.”

Ms. Wells applied that information that the inmates shared with her and explained how it contributes to their lives. She was provided with great depth of information, as to what the inmates wanted to accomplish, after receiving their GEDs. In turn, she acknowledged how they could obtain those goals and purposes. She designed a strategic guide for the class, as a whole, in order to, complete the necessary steps and to achieve the common goal. She expressed their attitudinal approach towards education and obtaining proper guidance.

We, at Sandersville Tech and Jefferson Correctional Facility, would like to extend a heartfelt, gratitude of thanks to Ms. Wells for extending her busy day; to come in and express literacy and the passion of education, that she’s professed in this community, for many years. Ms. Wells did an awesome job; she expressed her concern and felt the need of literacy among the inmates. She’s willing to go the extra mile, when it comes to education because she feels without education, individuals are truly lost.

Ella Palmer


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