2024 | Winter


WINTER | 2024


Chief Mark Scott

GACP President & Americus Police Department

Happy New Year!  I hope each of you enjoyed the holidays and I pray that you will have a blessed and prosperous 2024.  Each of our members should have received an email from Executive Director Ayers telling you about the video project we are undertaking to try to change the narrative on the law enforcement profession in the State of Georgia.  We are asking you to meet with your officers and ask them to identify body cam or other video that we can use that shows law enforcement officers doing amazing things.  It may be an officer doing CPR or administering First Aid.  It may be an officer interacting with kids or having a positive encounter with a member of the public.  We need your videos!  Please take a few minutes and download and email them in.  We want to recognize as many agencies from across the state as we can in this project.  We’ve all got to work together if we want to show the public who we really are and promote the truth that policing is a noble and honorable profession and that we are proud of who we are.


As I write this article, we have just finished with the last detail related to the funeral for former First Lady Rosalyn Carter.  If you watched the Sumter County proceedings live on virtually every major news outlet, you saw a smooth and orderly progression of events over three days that culminated in her final memorial service and burial in Plains.  If you were here working behind the scenes you saw endless meetings, long nights, carefully controlled chaos, and a whole lot of overtime for our already overworked officers.  To all the agencies from across the State of Georgia who traveled to Sumter County to help, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you.  We couldn’t have done it without you.


To the men and women of the Americus Police Department, thank you doesn’t even begin to express how much I appreciate each one of you.  Police Officers are a very special group of people.  They work long hours for inadequate pay and the more we ask of them, the more they are willing to give until they just can’t give any more.  Like most of the departments across the country we are struggling with staffing shortages.  Police officers have always been adept at doing more with less, but we’ve now reached a point where we are being asked to do more with almost nothing.


A recent article written for Police 1 by Dr. Michelle Beshears cites excessive overtime as one of the major leading causes of stress for law enforcement officers.  Add stress from personal issues and stress from the daily emotional roller coaster of police work to the physical burnout and it’s no wonder that our personnel are choosing to leave the profession and that young people are not interested in law enforcement as a career.  As we enter into a brand-new year, I encourage you as a law enforcement leader to focus on both the physical and mental health of your employees.  Take full advantage of the peer support team and other mental health resources available to us across the state.  Let’s take care of each other and make 2024 a banner year for law enforcement in Georgia.