NAACP calling for investigation into Troup Co. School System, police department
LAGRANGE, Ga. (WTVM) - The Troup County NAACP asks Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to investigate the area school system and LaGrange Police Department.
Leaders with the Troup County NAACP say this public meeting occurred to “expose an emergency and crisis” in the area. The group held a news conference at LaFayette Square in Downtown LaGrange.
Two weeks ago, Troup County NAACP leaders say a letter was sent to the governor’s office, requesting help in investigating both the city police department and county school system.
“Based off of complaints that we received from citizens in the community, that led to this morning’s press conference,” said Troup County NAACP President Mike Meredith.
Meredith believes help is needed from a higher level.
“If it’s going on over such a long period of time, then at some point in time, you want to bring someone in with power and authority to address it,” said the NAACP president.
NAACP leaders point to the turnover of three major positions as a sign of disorder within the local government. Willie Edmonson was recently sworn in as mayor just months after his predecessor resigned in October to work for the Georgia Municipal Association.
In December, the city’s fire chief, John Brant, announced his resignation from the department. Additionally, in January, longtime LaGrange Police Chief Lou Dekmar announced his retirement.
The NAACP also cites an internal investigation into alleged sexual misconduct among police officers at a recent department retreat.
The LaGrange Daily News reports Dekmar released the findings of an internal investigation to city council members on his last day of work on Feb. 8. The newspaper report states the internal investigation found three officers in violation of the department’s code of conduct.
One Troup County resident, Alonzo Roberts, believes the city’s new mayor needs more time to address the concerns.
“To me, this was not a lawful time. It was there and should’ve been spoken on. But, now is it not the time to do it. It should have been addressed. If you had all these situations of while the people were in office, you never confronted them while they were in office,” said Roberts.
News Leader 9 reached out to both the mayor’s office and the police department for a response, but neither one had a comment at this time.
The NAACP leaders also believe state attention is needed within the county school system. The organization cites poor performance scores among schools within the system as a significant issue.
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The city does plan to host a conference soon.
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