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Citation ability expansion approved
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The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved a resolution that will grant certain positions in county departments the authorization to issue citations to citizens.

The resolution was approved in a 2-1 vote during the board's Tuesday morning work/voting session. The lone dissenter was Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt, who has been critical of the resolution since it was presented to the board three weeks ago.

In previous meetings, Nesbitt's main concern had to do with allowing county employees the authority to write citations who aren't "duly sworn" or "deputized as a deputy," and that was the same case during this meeting.

Rockdale County Recreation and Maintenance Director Jackie Lunsford was called before the board once again to answer questions about the job description, qualifications, and hiring requirements of a new park security coordinator position being created.

Nesbitt also asked Lunsford to give him an example of circumstances under which the park security coordinator would need to write a citation. Lunsford told him the position would only write "citations for ordinance particular to parks," including dumping trash, vandalism, graffiti and driving on park trails.

Lunsford also told the board that if an emergency presented itself, then 9-1-1 would be called.

However, after a rather lengthy discussion lasting more than 40 minutes, Rockdale County Chief of Staff Gerald finally told the board that the new park position being discussed wasn't included in the resolution and the permit to write citations was only for the positions listed in the document.

The positions approved in the resolution are for existing positions in the Rockdale County Board of Assessors, Board of Health, Fire and Rescue, Planning and Development, Stormwater Division, Recreation and Maintenance, RCSO and Rockdale Water Resources departments. The only position under the Recreation and Maintenance department are the animal control officers.

The intent of the resolution is to update the list of positions within the organization that should be granted citations issuance powers and to more efficiently consolidate periodic request from departments for this authorization into one document, said Rockdale County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden.

Rockdale County Planning and Development Director Marshall Walker also came before the board to discuss why the resolution was needed.

"The ability to issue (a citation) at the time of incident is important," he said. "We'll call 9-1-1. We'll get sheriff's deputy out there as fast as we can, but a lot of times (the offender) is gone."