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Posted: September 3, 2009 9:58 a.m.

Social Circle Chief of Police resigns, officer terminated

City Manager: "The public was never in danger"

Several complaints within the Social Circle police department have led to the firing of one officer, and the resignation of Chief Steve Sheldon.

City Manager Doug White stated that several officers came to him, citing a serious morale issue that had come to light within the department, and claiming that several personnel policies in the Standard Operating Procedure had been violated.

After outside law enforcement from the city of Grovetown performed an investigation, and it led to the termination of Uniformed Patrol Lt. Chauncey Dixon two weeks ago.

The GBI has also been briefed on the issue and have come twice to interview members of the force and investigate the allegations. The GBI investigation is ongoing.

White spoke to Sheldon several times throughout the investigation, and on Monday he tendered his resignation, saying it he had decided it was best for the department.

An interim director will not be hired. Individual lieutenants within the fire and police departments will be responsible for managing the department until the end of the investigation and a new chief is hired.

White does not expect criminal charges to be filed against either Dixon or Sheldon.

“Lieutenant Dixon had done some things that clearly violated some personnel policies, but the public was never at risk,” White said. “Right now we’re working on moving forward, and heading in a direction that is good for the force and for the city of Social Circle.”

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