City preparing for new radio system, ‘youth against violence’ program

Police, water department heads update White City Council

If you’re looking to purchase about two dozen used garbage cans, you might just have the City of White's undivided attention.

“We’ve replaced, probably, I don’t know, 25 of them here in the last couple of weeks,” said Jimmy Nichols, a representative of the city’s water and sewer department, at Monday night’s city council meeting. “So we’ve got a good stack of old garbage cans to do something with.”

While the city has yet to make an official decision on what to do with the garbage cans, Councilman Dennis Huskins proposed at least one possible solution. 

“You can dispose of them at the landfill, but if there’s any value in them at all, there’s a lot of landscapers that would love to have them,” he said. “I don’t know if you want to go through the trouble of getting [the stickers] off and selling them to landscapers [but] that’s one way to get rid of them without having to destroy them.”

Nichols also informed the council that the gas line has been cut for the city-owned property at 30 School St., which is set for demolition later this year.

He also said about “20-25” new road signs have recently gone up throughout the city. “We’ve got all the City of White city limit signs up,” he said. “We’ve got two on 411, two on Old Tennessee Highway, one on Richards Road … and if you ride through at night, they sure are looking back at you. They’re reflective, they’ll shine back at you.”

Recently sworn-in Chief of Police Chris Barnes gave an update as well. 

“So far this month, I’ve been busy trying to take over as chief, trying to get [Georgia Crime Information Center] stuff, but the department runs in compliance,” he said. “I’ve spoken to the GBI, they’re actually going to send somebody from the training division to come help set up and make sure we’re complying.”

The city is also hard at work setting up a new radio system.

“Our radio system is about 30 years old and it just doesn’t pick up and provide the coverage that we need,” he said. “That should take effect in the middle of this month, so we’ve been doing a lot of testing, a lot of training on that.”

Also in the works is a local “youth against violence” program. 

“What that is, basically, is an eight-week program. The curriculum includes lessons in attitude, leadership and personal growth,” Barnes said. “The youths are going to get those referrals from the school system or the local court systems, trying to get them some type of first offenders kind of thing so that we can rehabilitate them and hopefully keep them out of further trouble as they get older.”

Barnes said the city is also switching from Verizon to FirstNet for its computer programs. “So that’s going to save us a little bit of money,” he said. “We’ve actually applied for a grant so that we could take care of that.”

An additional full-time police officer, he said, should take to the streets of White next week. 

As far as new business, the council voted unanimously to adopt an intergovernmental service delivery strategy with the county. However, a motion to adopt the city’s official personnel policy handbook was tabled to next month, after Councilman Charles Buttrum said he needed more time to review the documents.