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The Social Circle Police Department Graduated Their First Citizen’s Police Academy Class

Social Circle Police Department Citizen Police Academy - Share Our Vision and Be Our VoiceThe City of Social Circle Police Department held a graduation ceremony and family lunch honoring the first Citizen’s Police Academy graduates on Saturday October 14, 2017. Participants in this program met for six (6) weeks on Tuesday evenings from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in the police department’s community room. The classes were a combination of lectures, demonstrations and interactive activities.

“We would like to congratulate the Social Circle Police Department’s Citizen Police Academy’s inaugural class for successfully completing this program.  It was an honor to have the opportunity to be able to provide this experience for our citizens,” Police Chief Tyrone Oliver said.

The Social Circle Citizen’s Police Academy was created to give our residents and corporate partners of Social Circle a chance to see, understand and interact with the inner workings of the Social Circle Police Department.  Participants learned about the available services, resources and programs offered by the department. More importantly, participants got a chance to meet and interact with the men and women who provide these services. This course covered the structure and overview of the police department, patrol functions, criminal investigations, judicial process, firearms training and use of force and use of force considerations.  Also during the program, participants were required to complete at least two (2) hours of police “ride-a-longs”.  The funds for the program were made possible through the Lions and the Lion-hearted Golf Tournament, which seeded the Lion-hearted fund.

“I would like to thank Lieutenant Randy Downs who did a phenomenal job spearheading this course and the entire police department staff for their participation.  This was truly a department-wide effort in making this a very successful partnership between the community and law enforcement,” Police Chief Tyrone Oliver said. This course will be offered twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.  Please check our website (socialcircelga.gov) and Facebook page (City of Social Circle, Georgia) for future class dates.

Citizen Police Academy Graduation

Pictured left to Right, Bottom row: Brenda Stewart, Rebecca Barnett, Thomas Carter, Cathy Rape, Addie Massey and Marty Burns

Back Row: Chief Tyrone Oliver, Lynn Pulliam, Investigator Bill Bowen, Millie Kozak, Daniel Kozak, David Keener, Andy Rape, Robert Posner, Investigator Michael Jett, James Corbett, Tyson Jackson, Lt. Randy Downs and Sgt. James Pilgrim.  (not Pictured Ray Martinez)

Citizen Firearm Class Scheduled

[UPDATE] – The class is full! Please check back for additional dates.

The Social Circle Police Department has announced the date for their next Citizen Firearm Class.

Date: Saturday, October 21, 2017
Time: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
Location: Community Room

This class is designed for those individuals that want to become familiar with how to properly use a firearm. This course will include classroom and range instruction. This course will also provide the legal and lawful explanation of the use of force.

Please contact Lt. Randy Downs at rdowns@socialcirclega.com for more information.

The class size is limited to the first 15 applicants. All applications must be submitted no later than Tuesday, October 17,2017.

ISONOVA RTO Construction Update

ISONOVA is making excellent headway on their RTO installation.  The duct work and the concrete pad are complete, and the gas service and electrical conduit work are in place.  The RTO machinery was delayed a couple of weeks due to components affected by Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Houston.  The machinery should arrive within the next few weeks.  The project is still on schedule to be up and running before January 1.

At the City’s request, ISONOVA will be shutting down operations at 8 am on Saturday, until 2:30 pm for the Friendship Festival. We appreciate their efforts to ensure that the festival will be pleasant for all our visitors.

Georgia Environmental Protection Division’s Summer Burn Ban Lifted

Get a permit before you burn. It's fast, easy and free and it's the law.The summer ban on outdoor burning will end Saturday, September 30 in 54 Georgia counties, primarily in the northern half of the state. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division sets the restrictions annually, from May 1 to the end of September, to reduce emissions from ground level ozone that may jeopardize air quality.

Burn permits issued by the Georgia Forestry Commission are required for any outdoor burning in the state to help prevent wildfires and problems generated by smoke.

“The GFC will resume issuing burn permits as conditions allow, on a day to day basis,” said Frank Sorrells, Chief of Protection for the Georgia Forestry Commission.

Fire danger and smoke management considerations will be taken into account for counties that have been under the EPD burn ban since May 1, as it is in all Georgia locations, Sorrells said. The GFC recognizes the importance of prescribed burning for its many wildfire prevention and forest management benefits, and safety remains the top priority for those burns as well.

“We’re asking everyone to be extra cautious when doing any open burning, especially in the wake of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma, which left behind a lot of downed trees and vegetative debris,” said Sorrells. “Escaped debris burns remain the number one cause of wildfires in our state, and it may be necessary and wise to delay or postpone open burning if local conditions are unfavorable.” Sorrells said tools such as a shovel, water, and cell phone should always be on hand, that fires should never be left unattended, and a 911 call is always prudent when flames escape.

The 54 counties whose EPD summer burn bans have been lifted are: Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Bibb, Butts, Carroll, Catoosa, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Cobb, Columbia, Coweta, Crawford, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Fulton, Gordon, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jasper, Jones, Lamar, Lumpkin, Madison, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Peach, Pickens, Pike, Polk, Putnam, Richmond, Rockdale, Spalding, Troup, Twiggs, Upson, Walker and Walton.

For specific information about conducting open burning, permitting requirements, and current fire conditions in your area, contact your county’s GFC office or visit GaTrees.org.

City-Wide Clean-up Saturday

Litter CritterThe kick-off for our fall 2017 city-wide cleanup will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at 8:00 a.m. in the Community Room in the Social Circle Public Safety Building.  This will be the 22nd regular cleanup event.

Everyone is invited.  Wear your work clothes.  Biscuits and coffee will be provided. This is a great opportunity for folks to meet and greet their friends and  neighbors before setting out to beautify our city.

If you or your organization cannot make it Saturday but want to help, please come by the Welcome Center one day this week and check out grabbers and pick up gloves and trash bags. All we ask is that you return your grabber and let us know how many bags of trash you were able to pick up so that we can include it in our reports.

See our map of Street Assignments. If you are not a member of a group that works on a specific area, feel free to choose an unassigned location.

Every year since 2007 residents of Social Circle meet to clean up our City on the Saturday before Easter Saturday and on the Saturday before our annual Friendship Festival.  Over the years we’ve had great support from Social Circle churches, businesses, civic groups, school and youth groups, neighborhood associations, and many others who continue to make this a successful event.

If your organization would like to adopt a street, please contact us at the Welcome Center (770-464-1866) or email AroundTheWell@SocialCircleGA.com.

Event Details

Brush Collection Update

Leaf and brush crews are working to get debris from tropical storm Irma picked up and hauled off as quickly as possible. They are currently working in the area of Hickory Drive, Joseph Lane and Wildwood Drive. Tomorrow they will be working in Marco estates on Friday and North and South Cherokee Rd and West Hightower Trail on Saturday.

On Monday crews will return to their normal leaf and brush schedule.

  • Monday: north of East Hightower Road and east of North Cherokee Road. This includes the neighborhoods around Oak Drive, Holly Street.
  • Tuesday: west of North Cherokee Road and north of West Hightower Trail and Alcova Drive. This includes the neighborhoods of Park Place, Heritage Park, Corby Creek, Windsong, Jubliee and Laurel Oaks.
  •  Wednesday: south of Alcova Drive and West Hightower Trail and west of South Cherokee Road. This includes the neighborhoods of Azalea Farms, St. Andrews, Squirrel Words, Marco Estates and along Lakewood Drive, Wildwood Drive, Hickory Drive and Joseph Lane.
  • Thursday: east of South Cherokee Road and south of East Hightower Trail. This includes the neighborhoods of Dove Landing, Bear Cub Path and the neighborhoods along Cannon Drive, Spring Street, and Birch Street.
  • Friday: properties along North and South Cherokee and West Hightower.

Because of the large amount of debris, crews may not be able to pick up all the debris in their scheduled area on that day. They will attempt to return to those areas after completing pickups on other days.

If you would like to haul away your own debris, you may bring it to the laydown area by the Public Works office at 771 Vine Street Monday through Friday 7:00 am – 4:00 pm.

Shire, Social Circle Fire Partner on Valuable Training for Mutual Benefit

Shire and the Social Circle Fire Department have formed a partnership that’s providing safety support for Shire’s operations while providing the fire department with tens of thousands of dollars of specialized training and equipment that will have broader impact across the community.

The two organizations are participating in joint hazmat (hazardous materials) and confined space entry training programs that are providing needed skillsets to Shire employees and Social Circle firefighters. The confined space entry, referred to more generally as technical rescue, training in particular is a rare skillset that’s generally only found in major metro fire departments.

“We found an opportunity to improve the rescue portion of our confined space entry program. In Los Angeles, there’s a fire station three blocks away from our facility with technical rescue capabilities. We didn’t have that here,” said Jeffry Carter, who specializes in emergency response with Shire’s Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) department at the Georgia facility.

Shire has dozens of large vessels that are used in its manufacturing process, and while employees don’t commonly enter these vessels, they are required to do so periodically. Safety protocols stipulate rescue personnel should be on hand whenever a confined space entry is made by an employee.

A former firefighter and paramedic, Carter said he’s only seen this type of joint partnership at one other company in his career.

“Our EHS leadership told us to think outside of the box and find an effective and cost efficient solution,” Carter said. “It’s really cool that we’re not only able to implement an improvement for our site but also for the community.”

Before this training, the nearest department with technical rescue capabilities was in DeKalb County.

“When we’re done with the training, everyone in the department will have confined space training. To be honest, that’s almost unheard of, especially with a department our size,” Social Circle Fire Chief Ken Zaydel said. “We have public works employees in the city that make confined space entries, and we have other industries that do the same things and will benefit from this training.”

The training is being led by Eddie Sisco, who offers the specialized training through his Alabama-based company, Emergency Response Services. He has a specially designed rig and equipment that allows him to simulate various confined space entry scenarios.

While industries are a common client, Sisco said he’s seen numerous situations in communities where firefighters and others have had to use technical training to rescue people, whether it’s a contractor falling into a water tank during sandblasting or tourists and residents getting trapped while exploring caves. He agreed that it’s pretty rare to see these type of public-private partnerships, but he’s encouraged by it.

“It’s good to work with a group that wants to participate and that is looking forward to doing it. They’ve lined up to participate,” Sisco said. “They are ready to protect the facility and the community, and both sides will benefit greatly from it.”

The training consists of lots of rope work, including tying different kinds of knots and using pulley systems to create a mechanical advantage to safely lower and lift people out of small entry areas and move them horizontally through spaces, as well as proper harnessing and learning how to safely move an incapacitated person. Air monitoring is also a critical skill as rescue personnel need to understand the environment they’re entering as it could contain dangerous levels of chemicals.

Zaydel said his team already had some rope training, but this more advanced training takes the department’s capabilities to a whole new level. Some local,practical examples of confined space entry are when Georgia Power employees enter confined space vaults in the city and when public works employees work in manholes, stormwater drains and pits at the water plant.

“Everything builds off of rope rescue, all technical rescue, confined space, structural collapse, trench rescue, it all builds off the rope side. Knowing how to set up systems and knots and build off of that is a core skill set,” Zaydel said. “This training and trailer we have now gives us huge capabilities to be able to assist Shire, our other industries and the 4,500 residents we serve.”

Firefighters will also be able to earn some additional money by using their expertise for side jobs. For example, Shire will hire firefighters to be on standby for confined space rescue whenever the plant has a shutdown – a scheduled period where manufacturing stops and regular maintenance is performed throughout the plant.

For Shire, the training is another piece of the puzzle for the company’s Emergency Response Team, a cross-functional team of employees who are receiving in-depth training on confined space rescue, hazmat, CPR/First Aid and other skills and are ready to respond to any event that could happen at the facility.

“When we train people to become subject matter experts in these areas, we create an environment and culture of safety. We know the potential dangers, we know how to prevent incidents and injuries, and hopefully we never have to use any of this training,” Jason Pertoso, Shire’s EHS Director at the Georgia facility, said. “But if we do, we know that our public safety partners will be ready.”

Rebates for Old Appliances

gas stoveThe Social Circle gas department wants you to round up your old appliances in exchange for new natural gas appliances. The Rebate Rally is a special natural gas appliance event, held by natural gas providers across the state of Georgia each year. Local governments, water heater manufacturers, local contractors, and local businesses have partnered together to promote the understanding of natural gas appliance savings, benefits and efficiencies. Social Circle is participating in the 2017 Rebate Rally Campaign throughout the months of September and October. Promotions include a $400 rebate on natural gas tankless water heaters, a $200 rebate on a natural gas tank water heater, $50 rebate on natural gas stove, lights or logs. The City of Social Circle offers 0% interest financing on the purchase and installation cost of natural gas water heaters, stoves and dryers. Qualified residential customers can obtain an application from City Hall. For more information, contact Robbie Groves at 770-464-2380, rgroves@socialcirclega.com or RebateRally.com.