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Dedicated to Serving Acworth With Excellence BY WAYNE DENNARD

Laws are created in the legislative halls of our government. However, most laws leave room for interpretation, and, when they are interpreted in court, resulting in new applications, we call that case law or precedent. Many police officers, through the course of their careers, eventually will find their split- second decisions end up being scrutinized in the Court of Appeals. This is where legal precedents (case laws) are set. Recently, two Acworth police officers were named in a case that was upheld in the Court of Appeals. In that case, officers conducted a traffic stop for a moving violation, and they suspected that the driver was in possession of narcotics. During the course of the traffic stop, officers learned that the driver was on parole for drug-related charges, and, as a condition of his parole, he had signed a fourth amendment waiver. This waived his rights to privacy and compelled him to allow parole officers to conduct warrantless searches anytime of his person, vehicle, residence, and any other property under his control.


AROUND ACWORTH | August 2019

When searching the vehicle, officers found a large quantity of methamphetamine, money, plastic bags (the kind frequently used to package illegal drugs for sale) and a small scale (the kind frequently used for weighing narcotics). The driver subsequently was arrested for trafficking methamphetamine. In court, the driver did not contest the drug charges, but argued that the search was illegal because the officers who searched his vehicle were police officers and not parole officers, and, according to his attorney, the 4th amendment waiver did not extend to police officers. The Court of Appeals determined that, since parole is an extension of being incarcerated, it is necessary and proper for police officers to have the right to search the person and property of individuals who are on parole. It was decided that our officers acted properly. This important case law will help ensure that officers are able to monitor properly the actions of parolees and, in doing so, to ensure the safety and security of our community. One of our highest priorities is to ensure that the safety of

our community is protected. Sometimes, that requires on-thespot analysis and decision-making in regards to constitutional rights. The outcome of this case, and the resulting case law, is a testament to the caliber of the officers that we hire, and the high-level training that they receive. Every officer at APD is dedicated to carrying out our departmental mission: “It is the mission of the Acworth Police Department to provide fair, impartial, and excellent law enforcement service to our community. To that end, we pledge to pursue the highest levels of training and education available, and to offer our community the highest levels of professionalism to the best of our ability.� Our officers stand by that mission, and I am honored to stand by each and every one of our officers. I am so proud of our people and their dedication to excellence.

Wayne Dennard has served as chief since 2012 and has lived in this community for more than 40 years.

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