Sgt. Jason Cripps of the Porterdale Police Department and his wife Holly spoke to the Porterdale City Council Monday night about the success of their May 15 We Ride to Provide fundraising event.
Holly said much of the success of the motorcycle ride benefit was, unfortunately, because of the recent death of Rockdale County Sheriff's Deputy Brian Mahaffey. According to Sgt. Cripps, RCSO's entire motorcycle division rode in the event and two Rockdale deputies manned a memorial tent for Officer Mahaffey.
At the event $1,000 was raised and donated to Mahaffey's widow. Rockdale Sheriff Jeff Wigington wrote a letter of thanks to the PPD for organizing the ride.
"A lot of the bikers told me that they came to ride for Brian this year," said Holly of the second We Ride to Provide, "but they said we will be back next year for the Porterdale Police."
With the other $3,500 raised from the 102 bikes entered in the ride, the Porterdale Police Department Sgt. Cripps was able to purchase safety equipment for each officer. Purchased equipment included Level III safety holsters, off-duty safety holsters, traffic cones, reflector vests, tactical vests with pockets that can be worn over bulletproof vests, rescue knifes and top of the line LED flashlights.
"They seem small, but they're really big things for us," said Chief Wayne Digby. "This is all quality stuff and things we need on a daily basis, but didn't have before."
All the equipment was purchased from Section 8, a military and police supply shop in Jackson.
In other news from Monday night's Porterdale City Council meeting:
• The council passed an ordinance requiring a $35 inspection to be performed in a home where the utility services have been interrupted and the owner wishes the services to be reinstated as well as an ordinance requiring that any multi-family dwelling unit have separate water meters for each unit or place the master unit in the name of the property owner.
• The council will hold a public hearing and the third and final reading of an amended solid waste disposal fee schedule at their meeting on July 12.
• The council authorized Mayor Bobby Hamby to sign a contract with the Fanning Institute for the completion of a comprehensive plan that will include a design for Yellow River Park. The contract is for $16,500 and has an estimated completion date of late fall. New City Manager Bob Thomson said that in his experience this contract was a good deal for the city.
• The Porterdale Police Department received reimbursement of $43,983.83 from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The PPD has an officer on contract with ICE at Jackson-Hartsfield Airport, which allows the town to receive a portion of seized funds in adjudicated cases. Chief Digby said he has purchased Spillman software and laptops for the patrol cars in which the technology had not yet been installed.
• Before beginning the Monday night meeting the council observed a moment of silence in honor of former longtime Newton County Chairman Roy Varner, who passed away Thursday.