Muscogee County Sheriff does not want a merger with Marshal's Office

By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - It's been a big talking point for the past few weeks, the possible consolidation of the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office and the Muscogee County Marshal's Office.

Exactly two weeks ago Mayor Teresa Tomlinson presented the idea of the Muscogee County Marshal's Office being absorbed by the Muscogee County Sheriff's Office, but Sheriff John Darr says he is not in support of that decision, "We should all be working in conjunction with each other to best serve this community. That is the responsibility of the heads of these departments and agencies to do that. How I look at it is this, instead of being a divisive issue, we need to look at ways we can enhance each other."

Sheriff Darr says he is extremely proud of the work his office has done and he can't say enough nice things about the job Marshal Greg Countryman and his staff do.

"They do a great job, they have a good history, he's done a fantastic job in the six plus years he's been the marshal by trying to be the most professional marshal's office in the state and he does a good job. His people do a fantastic job," Sheriff Darr told News Leader Nine.

This decision of a consolidation has been on the table before.

"When we consolidated they kept the Marshal's Office around for a reason, there's history behind it. They are a very professional agency. The citizens have voted on this. What would I be as an elected official, I would think it's my responsibility to listen to the people and they have spoken on this." And Sheriff Darr says he hopes it will not come up again, "We need to be moving forward, we don't need to be trying to talk about this more, not from me."

Marshal Greg Countryman did not wish to speak on about his stance on the decision, but he was in attendance at the press conference to show his support for Sheriff John Darr.

Mayor Tomlinson plans to ask city council for a study to see just how much money could be saved if a consolidation took place.

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