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Oden proposes gun policy for retiring employees
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CONYERS- Rockdale County Chairman and CEO Richard Oden proposed a policy be adopted that will govern how county employees can purchase their service firearm from the county after their retirement during the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners (BOC) work session Tuesday. 

Only public service workers with at least 20 years of service to the county would be eligible to purchase their gun, and the policy would only affect the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO), district attorney’s office, coroner office, public defender office and finance and purchasing office. 

Part of the policy involves retiring employees to submit a formal written request to purchase their weapon.

“I think that’s appropriate,” said Oden. “If we want to start being more fiscal responsible, we need to start recapturing fair market value for those items.”

 Post 2 County Commissioner Doreen Williams wondered if there was any such policy currently on the books with county. Finance Director Roselyn Miller answered the question by saying employees only had to give their guns up for surplus unless they’re gifted with their weapon. 

Even though there are multiple departments that may be affected the main department at the heart of discussion was the RCSO. According to the BOC, Rockdale Sheriff Eric Levett doesn’t need count y approval to “gift” a firearm to an outgoing member of the department. 

Post 1 County Commissioner Oz Nesbitt wanted to know how a policy like this would affect former RCSO Chief Deputy Scott Freeman, who recently left the department to become the police chief in Athens-Clarke County, receiving his service weapon.

“I know the Sheriff wanted to award Freeman his service weapon,” said Nesbitt. “He doesn’t have 20 years with the county but for his service he has done within the community.”

Oden said this policy wouldn’t Freeman at all. 

Initially, Nesbitt said the decision should be left up to the discretion of the sheriff because “it’s really the only department” that will be affected. However, later in the discussion, he told Oden and Williams that the sheriff should be included in the process of the making the policy “whether he comes up with his own policy” or “collaborates with the county officials.

Oden didn’t think that was necessary because the policy was governing how the county handled tax payer money. 

“My lane from a procedural policy standpoint is that we put procedures in place so that we can protect the assets of the county,” said Oden.