Beyond the Call of Duty

This summer the state of Georgia will host the G-8 summit and some local law enforcement officers have been called to help with the security measures. Local officers are preparing for the unexpected. The yearly meeting is known to draw large crowds, which attracts both protestors and terrorists.

The leaders of countries including the U.S. and Britain will meet in the Peach State for this year's G-8 summit to discuss issues affecting the world. Among the 22,000 security officers on duty will be a team from our area.

CAPT Mark Scott with Thomasville Police says, "Federal and state authorities are actually handling the actual security of the summit itself. What they are asking local law enforcement to do is handle some fringe duties."

Traffic and crowd control are among the duties, both of which officers say they're use to handling, but they're also preparing for possible terrorist activities and violent outbreaks by protestors.

Thousands of protestors are expected to be at the G-8 summit. Law enforcement officers are training for that situation. They say what they learn there they can bring back to serve folks in our area.

"People can protest anything and anywhere with the limits of the law it can happen anywhere, so if it were to happen here in Thomasville we'll be prepared," says Jason Carroll, Thomas County Sheriff.

CAPT Scott adds, "Hopefully everyone who goes their interest will be met, protestors will be able to do so peacefully."

Though officers are preparing for the worst, they're hoping for the best as they go beyond the call of duty. The G-8 summit is June 8-10 at the Sea Island Resort near Savannah.

Gov. Perdue issued a state of emergency that went into effect Monday for counties surrounding the location because of the possibility of terrorist threats. CAPT Mark Scott says there will still be full patrol teams on duty and folks won't notice a decrease in staffing during that time.


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