The City of Macon and the county it is in, Bibb, have long toyed with the notion of merger. The idea rarely gets anywhere because all the parties involved cannot agree on leadership and the county residents who live outside the city are not sure they want to take on the city and its debt and poor management decisions.
The city and county have, however, merged many departments. Stebin Horne, a city councilman and, no doubt, future candidate for higher office, has come up with a great idea.
As Macon Mayor Jack Ellis begins his search for a new police chief, one city councilman says the time is right to turn the police department over to the county.
Councilman Stebin Horne said he will provide the City Council with a resolution asking that the police department be turned over to the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office. The resolution is being drafted by the city’s attorney.
Horne said the move would eliminate double taxation for residents and provide officers with a pay scale – something the sheriff’s department has.
“This would be an opportune time to do this because with the resignation of the chief there would be no issue about who would control the department,” Horne said. “It would be (Sheriff) Jerry Modena, and he was elected by the whole county.”
Modena said he would be happy to take over law enforcement in the city if that is decided.
Sadly, the idea will probably never get off the ground. The mayor and certain members of City Council will most likely not want to give up tangible benefits of power that come with presiding over the city police department. Nonetheless, the idea would benefit the Macon Police Department and save money in the long run (if done right). This idea’s time has come.