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Put public safety first

Public safety should always be placed above politics.

Clayton County leaders are faced with difficult decisions every day.

The county commission has numerous responsibilities and the decisions they reach can impact the lives of thousands of people.

They must make hiring and firing decisions, budget decisions and policy decisions that can all have ripple effects.

We appreciate the gravity of their position and understand the weight that can be placed on their shoulders each day.

As they weigh the futures of the Clayton County fire and police departments, it is important that the interest of residents — most especially the safety of residents — come before any other considerations.

We do not doubt the investigation into Chief Greg Porter is distracting and complicated.

In fact, it is most likely that Chief Porter and the county commission all want the investigation to be completed, the findings disclosed and everyone to go on with the business at hand.

Porter has even said he welcomes the scrutiny but wants to simply do his job.

Now that he is back on the job, the focus of not only the department, but on the county commission itself as it pertains to the police department, should simply be on serving and protecting the residents of Clayton County.

Public safety is way too important to play politics with.

The same can be said about the county fire department.

Again, the selection of a new fire chief is a true burden.

We do not envy the task of county leaders as they go through what is already proving to be a controversial decision.

We do not have recommendations for the best candidate, per se.

However, we do strongly recommend that each member of the elected body do their very best to lay politics and their respective alliances aside and think first and foremost about fire safety.

It can be hard to resist cronyism, nepotism and favoritism but we believe morale, team building and buy-in by the department will come naturally if our firefighters know the decision was made for all the right reasons, instead of all the wrong reasons.

— Editor Jim Zachary

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