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McCollom takes over as PTC’s top cop

With 2 councilmen taking aim at police budget, Chief Clark decides it's time to leave

UPDATED for print Wednesday, July 9 — Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark is on his way out from being the city’s top cop.
Clark, who served nearly six years in the position, has tendered his resignation effective July 31 and is currently on leave, according to City Manager Jim Pennington.

Assistant Police Chief Will McCollom (right, above, riding in this year's Peachtree City July 4th parade) will serve as interim police chief while the city searches for Clark’s replacement, officials said.

Clark has not yet returned The Citizen’s voicemail seeking comment. There is no word on his future plans.

Pennington in a news release Monday said that he accepted Clark’s resignation with regret.

“He has been a supportive member of our executive leadership team,” Pennington said. “My best wishes to him and his family in their future endeavors.”

Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said the city has “an outstanding police department” and she knows the police staff will maintain that level of service under McCollom.

City Councilman Mike King signaled during recent budget hearings that the police department faced extra scrutiny for its portion of the city budget.

And City Councilman Terry Ernst has some history with Clark. Ernst was a long-time command staff officer when, in 2012, Clark eliminated three captain’s positions, including Ernst, who was a 19-year veteran of the department. Ernst then ran for City Council and was elected in 2013.

Both Ernst and King voted against an expansion of the department’s K-9 division this past April, marking an attempt at the first real curtailment in the department’s growth since Clark arrived five years ago.


Clark’s support on the City Council in any budget crunch was at best 3-to-2.

Clark (left, in a file photo) was rapped by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in April 2012 as the agency was conducting an investigation into gender and disability discrimination claims filed by former police staff assistant Lisa Ficalore. The EEOC chief sent a warning letter to Clark for engaging in conduct “which has the effect of controlling or intimidating witnesses who could be required to testify during the investigation.”

The city later settled the case for $300,000.

The EEOC’s investigation determined that Clark “openly discussed” Ficalore’s disability and “his frustration” with her due to the disability and “his desire to discharge her on the basis of her usage of medical leave for her disability,” according to the EEOC finding.

“The evidence further indicates that Ficalore was often singled out for retaliatory reasons thus creating a hostile work environment,” according to EEOC’s December 2012 ruling. “Lastly, evidence indicates that Ficalore’s coworkers were threatened and intimidated by Clark when they supported her allegations of disability discrimination and unlawful retaliation.”

McCollom, hired by Peachtree City in September 2012, previously served as the Deputy Police Chief in Delray Beach, Fla. where he worked more than 22 years before retiring and taking the police chief’s job in Tequesta, Fla. in the same county where Clark formerly worked: Palm Beach.

On his application for employment with the city, McCollom noted that in Tequesta, a departmental reorganization helped cut administrative costs by 24 percent while improving operational efficiency.

McCollom also noted that he developed a community policing methodology for Delray Beach that helps arm citizens with education “to ensure the citizens can act and will act as guardians against decline.” The program offered extensive training on “resource identification and how to use resources available to them. In the area this was implemented crime dropped and property values increased.”

McCollom lists a master’s degree in public administration from Nova Southeastern University in addition to a variety of professional training including the FBI national academy and several other classes for police executives.

===============================================

EARLIER ONLINE VERSION UPDATED 5 p.m. Monday

Peachtree City Police Chief H.C. “Skip” Clark is on his way out from being the city’s top cop.

Clark has tendered his resignation effective July 31 and is currently on leave, according to City Manager Jim Pennington. Assistant Police Chief Will McCollum will serve as interim police chief while the city searches for Clark's replacement, officials said in a news release this afternoon.

Clark has not yet returned The Citizen’s voicemail seeking comment earlier today.

Pennington said that he accepted Clark's resignation with regret.

"He has been a supportive member of our executive leadership team," Pennington said in the news release. "My best wishes to him and his family in their future endeavors."

Peachtree City Mayor Vanessa Fleisch said the city has "an outstanding police department" and she knows the police staff will maintain that level of service under McCollom.

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Comments

Cyclist's picture

I bet you're not shocked over this.

Caution - The Surgeon General has determined that constant blogging is an addiction that can cause a sedentary life style.

Is anyone?

highflyer2's picture

I think it was called "Another one bites the dust"

Oh where oh where have we gone wrong !

Ok...come clean.....what's the scandal this time? The truth shall set you free.

NUK_1's picture

Go find another town of 5,000 to be chief over like your career-shining moment before PTC.

No, I and no one else in my family ever got a ticket from Skip's reign, despite the asinine roadblocks and cops idling in medians.

Whoever called it last week here was 100% right on his departure. Good work, unlike Skip's.

Are you saying that a person shouldn't work hard to make their way up the ladder of success?

So what if he came from a town of 5000. Policing is policing. Accounting is accounting, and journalism is journalism.

Do you tell an accountant he can't move up from a small firm into The Big 4? Do you tell a writer he can't go from The Citizen to the AJC because the AJC has a larger audience?

Take a good look today when Cal posts the police reports. There are a lot of folks driving who shouldn't. I've got stuck in some roadblocks and don't mind showing my ID, licence, registration and insurance.

NUK_1's picture

There's a big difference in policing a sleepy retirement community in Florida of 5,000 as opposed to PTC and 35,000. As has been seen by internal personnel problems in PTCPD, the man wasn't up to this challenge.

As far as roadblocks go, numerous police studies have shown that you catch more drunks and others violating the law by active patrolling instead of setting up roadblocks, which is why this was a tactic not used before Skip's arrival. It's used as a revenue tool, not a law enforcement measure.

I still don't see it. Nothing wrong with a person wanting a bigger challenge.

Not sure I even buy into the internal problems. The one lady missed a lot of work. He reorganized during a depression and downsized keeping people he trusted that had his back. Yes, its sad that long time people lost their jobs, but those things happen in business every day.

As for the roadblocks, I don't know the stats on locating DUI drivers ect.. I do know that I don't mind a 15 minute stop to check that all drivers are ok and have up to date insurance and proper equipment. As one can see in the paper, the police find (mostly out of county) folks that aren't as civic minded as most of us.

brewster's picture

Set up signs before a turn off with "Police road block ahead" both in English and Spanish. Stake out the turn off and pull over everyone who takes it. Best to have a police car with lights on and a dummy car with the trunk open in plain sight ahead. All the folks with a clear conscience can drive straight on through with no delay. Works like a charm.

tgarlock's picture

Whether you know it or not, Cal gives you the option of anonymity on these blogs for your personal protection. It is disappointing how, from behind the cloak of anonymity, adults turn themselves into children and insults are casually hurled on these blogs on a daily basis, Clark's departure being just one more opening for juveniles to weigh in like bugger-slinging kids in school. I doubt you would have the courage or lack of class to call Mayor Vanessa "the big-haired lady" to her face, call Chief Clark "Skippy" while looking in his eye, call Eric Imker "Erica" and so on while characterizing them personally and their policies with sarcastic derision. I know it is just casual snickering fun on your end, kind of like pulling legs off bugs to watch them squirm, but please know you are not only hitting good people (even if you disagree with them) where it hurts with your barbs, you are also portraying the image of your community to the outside world as a low-rent trailer park. Would be nice if you used your anonymity and wordsmithing talents with the self-discipline of talking about people as if you were saying your words to their face, with the same caution and restraint, the way our Moms and Dads taught us. Challenging public officials on these blogs in a more respectful way without the juvenile spin sure would be a nice change for the image of our community. Now I can't wait to see how you will dismember me.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

One teensie weensie correction. It is booger-slinging, not bugger-slinging. Bugger-slinging is way out of our low-rent trailer park vernacular. If we are going to be grammatically correct, let's spell it right. I would appreciate bugger not appearing at all on here, as it does not seem to fit in with the juvenile spin effect. Booger-slinging, better way to express yourself. Let us not forget, we are a diverse community, too.

Dismember...no..not today. You too purty for that.

brewster's picture

I thought it was snot slinging and booger flicking?

Nope, pretty sure trailer park patter is correct. You, on the other hand (get it..?)..are talking a whole 'nother mouthful!

NUK_1's picture

Didn't you recently call the President of the USA "Barney Fife" and also "Pee-Wee Herman?"

Not that I disagree with you, but I don't get the moral outrage over "Skippy" or "big-haired lady." Maybe you just meant local pols and not national ones.

tgarlock's picture

. . . I would also point out I was serious as a heart attack, not just casual gossipy ridicule for giggles, and I signed my name to it and stand by it. If Obama showed up without his muscle I'd be glad to say it to his face after having given him benefit of doubts early on and then became thoroughly convinced he is an incompetent, narcissistic, empty shirt of an ultra-liberal boob who couldn't lead a girl scout troop through a pansy patch without catastrophe. If you're going to blast someone at least have the integrity to be serious about it and take ownership of it like an adult.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

.

.

[quote]If Obama showed up without his muscle I'd be glad to say it to his face after having given him benefit of doubts early on and then became thoroughly convinced he is an incompetent, narcissistic, empty shirt of an ultra-liberal boob who couldn't lead a girl scout troop through a pansy patch without catastrophe[/quote]

LOL!!

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Happens to my opinion as well. Tell us something that disputes this. Start with an example of a topic or program or an issue that he has actually been the leader of that has benefited the country.

Hint, don't offer up Obamacare as it does not pass the 'benefit the country" hurdle.

Live free or die!

Gort's picture

Hey Morgan, are you a 'real adult/decorated veteran' ?

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Right out of the Alinski playbook - never answer an uncomfortable question directly and do not defend the indefensible - instead attack the messenger and denigrate if possible. It is not possible in my case, but good to know you are in lock step with your masters. Hope they move you to the head of the line when you need that important lifesaving operation. They will reward your loyalty to the cause. Sig heil!

Live free or die!

Gort's picture

Hey Morgan, nice answer, a blend of your usual gibberish laced with just the right amount of venom that makes it uniquely yours.

I take that as a No. You're not a 'real adult/decorated veteran' .

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

It might help you understand that those of us that reject extreme liberalism for what it is - a bunch of non-conformist fools either left over from or spawned by the 1970's play-acting at being adults or in some cases positions of power smirking their supposed superior attitudes promoting their unworkable feel-good wealth distribution programs spouting blatant lies on almost every subject refusing the notion of personal responsibility never once realizing how regular citizens look down upon them and mock them and reject them. My English teacher (a WWII Marine veteran of Iwo Jima and a real American) would forgive the run-on sentence because of the many truths contained therein and because it did not end with a preposition like it should of.

Yes I am a real adult, a community volunteer, a contributor to charity, church going and a slightly decorated veteran, although nothing compared to Terry, Mike King, my English teacher and so many others who sacrificed much so you have the right to display your immaturity, kill your babies (a good thing as it eliminates future Dem votes) and act out as a pampered whiny excuse for a human being. Even though everyone (even you) has the right of free speech, please be aware that I and many others have the right to assign 1000 times the importance to something Terry writes over your pathetic liberal drivel.

Hope I made myself clear.

Live free or die!

Just cringed.

[quote]so many others who sacrificed much so you have the right to display your immaturity, kill your babies (a good thing as it eliminates future Dem votes) and act out as a pampered whiny excuse for a human being. Even though everyone (even you) has the right of free speech, please be aware that I and many others have the right to assign 1000 times the importance to something Terry writes over your pathetic liberal drivel.[/quote]"

Why belittle your cogent points with this non-adult narrative?

PS. I too sometimes agree with Mr. Garlock's writing. He is talented.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

that comes from another individual or organization. As stated, if someone with credibility like Terry says something, I always listen seriously. I may or may not agree, but I alway listen. On the other hand, if someone I don't respect speaks, I have the right to tune them out, pick apart their statement or insult them if I feel like it.

I suppose the non-adult part you refer to is killing future Democrats in the womb. Graphic, but not untrue. Real people for thousands of years did not see a need to politicize abortion and then in the 1970's (when else) we get Roe vs. Wade. Go figure. You want to kill your unborn child (without rape or incest playing a role) - have at it, just understand that God may think of it the same way as I do - and that is that you are no better than dough boy who killed his kid in his car 22months after emerging from the womb. Timing is all. He'll be judged by 12 people in Cobb County - you, on the other hand will be judged by God. And God may be asking some of the same uncomfortable questions.

This is a generic "you", Mom - don't take it as a personal attack, I'm just explaining my right to interpret free speech and my right to speak freely on my feelings about abortion. Fair enough?

Live free or die!

God is Love.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

That Roe vs. Wade thing that created the holy grail of the modern Democrat party was simply a Supreme Court ruling in the early 1970's by a bunch old white guys who did very little to check and see what God thought about the taking of young lives. Redefining and inventing new words like fetus and viability does not change the central fact that having an abortion is taking a life and you will answer to God at the appropriate time. There you will be in the real Supreme Court. Start working on your opening argument. Good luck.

Aiding and abetting is also a crime, so maybe heaven will be empty of all liberals and Democrat voters and lawyers who have argued for abortion, maybe anyone who has contributed money to the Dems would be excluded as well.

Live free or die!

And for women, some may see child birth as a choice. Everything in adult conversation doesn't refer to Democrat or Republican/conservative or liberal. In this country, men and women should have the choice regarding their bodies. What did Jesus say about circumcision ? I respect the opinions of all, but their opinions should not govern what one does with ones body - IMO . To politicize this issue is the height of hypocrisy. Too many fine upstanding church going women have had abortions. (And let's not even go into the action of clergy in some churches.) From Geniesis: Man is created in the image and likeness of God. Man is spiritual , not material. - And Spirit is eternal. You see, we all have our own beliefs about man. And these beliefs are allowed to be expressed in the United States. The commandments are not followed, and that is a shame. 'Thou shalt not kill' if followed would end wars. Thou salt not commit adultery would save families . Thou shalt not bear false witness would put many politicians out of business!

RKS's picture

I am always amazed by people who feel aborting an unborn human is criminal, but the taking of the life of an adult via the electric chair, injection, etc, is perfectly acceptable. Double standards really make me crazy. Either you believe in prolife as in all life, or you don't. As far as answering to God for certain behaviors a person has, I think it's up to God to judge not us humans who are full of sin ourselves.

You seem to have purposefully or mistakenly ignored a major factor here--the unborn are completely and totally innocent, whereas someone being executed is not--and most likely guilty of taking another life. Believe what you want but let's distinguish where appropriate.

mudcat's picture

And all in the bible

1. Thou shall not kill - that includes babies living in the womb awaiting birth

2. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth - and by extension - a life for a life - so if you kill someone, you should be punished for it. True justice would involve using the same method as the killer did - forceps, bullets, stones, rope for people who lynch minorities, etc.

Someone who supports abortions but opposes capital punishment is a liberal hypocrite - and there are many of these, but they are still hypocrites.

Someone who is for both abortion and capital punishment is a confused conservative hypocrite.

If you are against both abortion and capital punishment, you are simply wrong, but think you are being consistent or maybe you are European.

A fetus in the early stages of development may be human life, but it is clearly not a human being. Moreover, it seems basic to human rights that a person has the right to control their own body and reproductive system.

This same basic human dignity makes capital punishment, the willful killing of someone who is clearly a human being, abhorrent and wrong. The US is the only developed western democracy that still uses this barbarous practice. Canada and the nations of the EU will not extradite a fugitive from the US who is accused of a capital crime until they get assurance that the death penalty will not be imposed.

As for the Bible stuff, I never discuss current political issues in those terms. Assuming a God exists, it is impossible to know his/her/its will on any given issue. If you believe that having an abortion, or eating pork, or drinking alcohol is sinful, there is no way I can prove you wrong or you can prove yourself right.

mudcat's picture

You are unhinged and a baby that is unborn is not a fetus you can kill at will.It is a baby growing up. Like you were. When did your mother decide not to have an abortion?

You said "Bible stuff" ???? Who do you think you are? This country was founded under God with liberty and justice for all. Go peddle your papers in some liberal place - we ain't interested.

1) I posted at approx 6:30 and happy hour at my watering hole doesn't end until 7:00

2) It is a fetus and the legality of termination at least through the first trimester had been settled law for 41 years. Didn't you get the news?

3) I know exactly who I am. Part of the liberty and justice the founders included in the first amendment is freedom of religion, and that includes the freedom not to have someone else's religion forced on you.

4) "peddle your papers in some liberal place" HA! that's funny. Actually I feel its far more needed here, to give some voice to the younger, more diverse New Fayette that is emerging.

I'm just doing my small part to help make Fayette that "liberal place."

Thank you for taking time to share a youthful, modern opinion which is not necessarily liberal or conservative , but thoughtful.

Thanks.

That's good to hear after being told more than once that my opinions are not welcome here.

I may come off as provocative at times but I tend to respond when attacked and I truly believe I represent the viewpoints of a newer population that is growing here but not yet represented in the local media and definitely not in the posters who tend to dominate here.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Killing a baby regardless of its location - womb, car, crib is wrong and even though a bunch of libs have turned logic on its edge, murder is murder. Roe vs. Wade gives protection from the law to the mother who has ordered the abortion, the father who enabled it and the doctor and his accomplices that perform it.

As far a God judging us, that's correct. He will. My position is that if abortion was made legal by 9 old liberal men on the Supreme Court, that does not override God's will. Therefore, you want an abortion have at it and start working on your speech to God about how it is "settled law" and a women's rights issue or health of the mother. I'm sure St. Peter has a screening process where incest and rape victims are allowed to make their case, but without that, what argument are you going to try out on God?

Abortion is killing. Killers deserve to be punished. If we on earth punish them by executing them, God gets a second chance. Those that got away with it because of "settled law" or any other reason still have their Judgement Day. Uncomfortable to think about - isn't it?

Live free or die!

Go to your bible and review Jesus' treatment of Mary Magdelene. If we are truly repentant, we have no reason to fear Love. I respect your interpretation of God, but no man-made law can can dictate an American citizen's religious belief. Thanks for sharing yours.

Gort's picture

Hey Morgan, it took two tries but I finally got an answer!

I'll accept you may be a veteran but a 'real adult' is too much of a stretch based on what you post on 'The Citizen.' On the other hand, I'm sure your dog thinks you're as wonderful as you think you are.

Thanks for the chat, I'll see you in the funny papers.

Remember: If you think Social Security and Medicare are worth saving, vote Democratic.

1. Ending the Bush/Cheney War. ( and trying to deal with Rumsfeld's poor decisions)

2. Initiating the recovery from the Republican recession

3. Finding Bin Laden

4. Deporting more illegal (criminal) immigrants than before

5. Following our poorly written immigration law that should have been reformed under Bush.

Etc., etc., etc.

6. Being re-elected in spite of the obstruction-like politics of a destructive segment of the Republican Party

7. Still recognized by the populations of the world as a 'winner' over the remnants of American apartheid

The country is ready for 2016. Is the extreme segment and Alinsky followers of the GOP? Deal with the issues and try not to attack the messenger. LOL

Robert W. Morgan's picture

Specifically #6 - the dude did get re-elected, although that speaks more to his campaign skills (i.e. sucking up to every special interest group he can find and blowing smoke their way with no followup) than anything else.

Not sure which war he ended. Afghanistan which was his war is still going on although he has given them the date of our surrender. Maybe Iraq which was a form of surrender and abandonment as well. Eisenhower or Truman he is not.

Worst President in 50 years - and that includes Nixon, Carter, Ford and Johnson. Wow.

Live free or die!

Cute retort. Can you share with us why I'm wrong on the other 5? Gosh, please don't prevent me from benefitting from your great logic. Thanks!

NUK_1's picture

You're a good man and obviously spend a lot of time thinking about your columns and opinions. Even though it's in my nature to be pretty snarky, maybe it's not too late to be less cynical and snide :)

Terry Garlock, I appreciate what you said and I don?__t want to dismember you but while attending college I lived in a low rate trailer park. I had to pay my own tuition so it was all I could afford at the time. I?__m more mature today and own my home so I guess I finally reached upright citizen status. By the way, I met some wonderful people in the trailer park. There were young people, grandmothers, single parents, other students, and just the "Average Joe?__s" who were trying their best to make ends meet. Hell, we even had a few block parties. Truth: As a teenager I also lived in a housing project. My mother (a single parent not by choice) was ill and we lived there until we were able to transition off of state welfare. If that?__s a problem I really don?__t care.

tgarlock's picture

A lifetime ago I, too, lived in a trailer park while I was in Army flight school, it was what I could afford. No apologies, though.

Moe, you are clearly correct about my misuse of that word, which is an ironic social fopah given the subject of my message. I concede the high ground to you on boogers, and we'll leave the other to the Brits.

Terry Garlock

Terry Garlock

secret squirrel's picture

[quote=tgarlock]A lifetime ago I, too, lived in a trailer park while I was in Army flight school, it was what I could afford. No apologies, though.

Moe, you are clearly correct about my misuse of that word, which is an ironic social fopah given the subject of my message. I concede the high ground to you on boogers, and we'll leave the other to the Brits.

Terry Garlock[/quote]

"Fopah." Niiiice.

And speaking of "fopahs" and "Brits," why is there a Union Jack so prominently displayed in the McCollom photo above? I understand when Southerners, so proud of their white heritage, gleefully wave the Confederate flag during the 4th of July (and any other times of year when being a proud American is appropriate). No one will accuse the South of being an educational stalwart. But surely it's gotten out by now that the American Revolution was fought against the Redcoats and their Union Jack. Surely, right?

The flag on the picture is Iceland's. When I enlarged the picture to get a better look, it seemed to me the flag was being displayed on a vehicle (golf cart?) to the left of the police vehicle.

secret squirrel's picture

Interesting optical illusion. Well, if that's the case then it makes even less sense than the atavistic British flag. As they say in the Land of Fire and Ice, "Hamingjusamur fj??r??a jǧl?? Ǎslandi."

That would have been your flag if it hadn't been for that meddling Mel Gibson :>)

Actually, we could learn a lot from Iceland.

They have a far lower level of inequality than the US does, largely thanks to their embrace of the Nordic Social Democracy model shared by Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. They have one of the highest levels of equality in the developed world, a universal health care system that we are only just beginning to move toward, and the UN has ranked Iceland number one in the world for gender equality in government, education, employment, and health.

In 2009, Iceland became the first country with an openly gay head of government when J??hanna Sigur??ard??ttir became prime minister.

So we're playing a bit of catch-up. I hope info like this encourages us all to try to do better.

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