Mayor Skip Henderson speaks on Chief Freddie Blackmon’s strategic plan

Published: Mar. 17, 2023 at 10:04 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - “We had a request to go into executive session, for the city attorneys real estate acquisition,” said Mayor Skip Henderson at the March 14th city council meeting. “Yes sir we have to request real estate acquisition, and personnel issue,” said Columbus city attorney at the March 14th city council meeting. After a motion and a second, city council members went into executive session, Tuesday, March 14th after the lengthy council meeting.

While we don’t know specifically what was discussed, this was the same day Chief Freddie Blackmon presented his strategic plan to council. Today, the mayor talked to us for the first time about the plan. “Well I do think he did a good job, i think it was difficult to manage all of those 70 odd recommendations and get them all into a manageable format,” says Henderson. The mayor saying he was most impressed with the 4 directions listed in the plan.

“I thought coming up with the 4 strategic direction, was a great idea and all the other plans are going to feed into that,” says Henderson.

Those four areas of focus are personnel, operations, training, and community engagement. The mayor saying to us it takes every single citizen to fight crime. “I don’t care if it’s up to your toes or your nose, get in as deep as you can. If you are in this community, you want to help effect crime for the entire community you need to get involved,” says Henderson. Community policing also mentioned in the plan, making sure officers are engaged at neighborhood watch meetings. After the executive session, which is not open to the public nor the media, the mayor made it clear no votes were taken in the meeting.

“We are now back from executive session, on real estate procurement and personnel and there were no votes were taken,” says Henderson. But the mayor says moving forward the chief’s strategic plan should be implemented. “I absolutely think if this plan is implemented, and he’s able to utilize some of the recommendations, I absolutely think it will start making a difference,” says Henderson.