FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. - Channel 2 Action News has learned that more than 10 veteran Forsyth County sheriff's deputies were laid off and more than 60 of them were reassigned.
Forsyth County Sheriff Duane Piper said he is restructuring his entire department.
Channel 2's Dave Huddleston was the only reporter to talk to Piper about how he plans to cut jobs and keep citizens safe.
Piper said he had too many officers in middle management
positions, so he's reorganizing just about the whole department. Some citizens, meanwhile, wonder if he can do that and keep them safe. "That's a bit of a concern, definitely with children," Katie Carr said.
David Tharp said he's concerned, too.
"They don't need to (do) that; not with the way the crime rate is, at all," Tharp said.
But Piper said the public has nothing to worry about. In fact, what he's doing is more of a restructuring so he can put more officers on the street.
"We applied some
common sense business principles to how we could do it better, and putting more in contact with the public," he said.
Piper said he can put 17 more deputies on patrol while eliminating 11 middle management positions and save tax dollars.
"This restructuring alone
(saves) well over a million dollars," he said.
But it hasn't come at a
cost. Piper is firing many of the people he worked with before he became sheriff.
"It's right up there in the top three most difficult things I've done in my life," Piper said.
And those difficult days aren't over. He said Wednesday's restructuring was just for the sworn officers. He has yet to implement his restructuring plan for the civil service members in the