Author: Dennis Nelson – GACP President

As I write this column there are only four days remaining in the 2018 Legislative Session and it has been an active one, indeed.  Your Association has been very well represented under the gold dome by Executive Director Rotondo and Assistant Executive Director Orrick.  Some active bills of interest to us include HB673 (Distracted Driver Bill), HB635 (Elder Abuse Bill), and SB366 that would require cities and counties to conduct compensation studies for law enforcement agencies.  Your GACP staff members continue to work very hard to keep us current and moving forward.

We had a great turnout for ‘Chief’s Day at the Capitol’.  Governor Deal spoke with our group and Senator John Albers presented the GACP with a Senate Resolution for ‘Law Enforcement Agencies Recognition Day’.  Representative Sharon Cooper also made a special presentation to our 2017 Chief of the Year, Marietta Police Chief Dan Flynn.  At the following Goals Conference, First Vice President Chief Joe Wirthman received several great ideas for consideration as he formulates his goals for his upcoming year as president.

The 2018 Summer Conference in Savannah will be here before we know it.  This year you will see some notable changes in the usual structure of the conference.  These changes will be explained in more detail by Executive Director Rotondo.

Perhaps the biggest item you will notice is that we are going to change the evening banquet to a business luncheon.  Over the past several years, attendance at the evening banquet has been steadily dropping off.  We understand that this is Savannah and many chiefs bring their families and would rather spend time with them on this evening, however, what occurs at the banquet is very important as your new officers are installed at this event and our Dr. Curtis McClung/Motorola Award of Excellence winner is recognized, as well as our 2018 Outstanding Chief.  Also, what you may not know is that the GACP must coordinate ahead of time with the Westin on the number of projected meals to prepare based on registration information.  When meals are contracted and people don’t attend, those uneaten meals get thrown away.  More importantly, the GACP is still required to pay for those wasted meals.

This new luncheon arrangement should encourage more people to attend since it will occur during a regular training day.  The luncheon will be a more enhanced meal rather than a simple ‘box’ lunch.  The installation of officers will occur at the luncheon so we expect that attendees will wear proper business attire (suit, sport coat, tie, etc.).  Since we are doing this for the very first time I am requesting all law enforcement attendees to please wear their dress uniform to this event.  We will plan on taking a group photo also during the luncheon.  This change will also affect the normal times that we cast our votes for Fourth Vice President.  This will be announced to everyone ahead of time and during the Conference.  Your candidates for this position are Chief Bruce Hedley and Chief Charles Spann.

And finally, in keeping our family members a part of our GACP family, my wife, Dawn, has come up with the idea of an ice cream social event in the vendor area in place of the normal evening reception.  There will be plenty of ice cream, toppings and add-ons to cool us and our family members off from the oftentimes relentless Savannah heat!

On behalf of your executive board members, we are here to work for you, our Association and the law enforcement profession.  If any of us can ever be of assistance to you please do not hesitate to contact us.