Council recognizes the retirement of Police Chief Greg Lovell

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Police Chief Lovell gives final police report

PICKENS, Ga. — During the October Jasper City Council meeting, the council noticed the retirement of Police Chief Greg Lovell, and announced the renaming of Dixie Street to GG Lovell Street. A motion to appoint Matt Dawkins to Interim Police Chief was also approved. 

Mayor Lawrence of Jasper read a motion that noted Lovell’s career achievements, and started the process for the renaming of Dixie Street saying, “The Mayor and city council would like to recognize Chief Lovell for his valuable contribution that he has made to his department and to this community.” 

Dixie Street Renamed GG Lovell Street

GG Lovell Street will replace Dixie Street

Chief Lovell has been serving his community for decades. First, as a member of the United States Armed Forces. Chief Lovell then worked with the Atlanta Police Department before moving to Jasper in 1996. Starting as a patrol officer for the Jasper Police Department, Lovell worked his way through the ranks and became Chief of Police in October of 2011. 

Mayor Lawrence congratulated Lovell on his 25 years of service to the area, “I also want to give my personal thank you to Greg Lovell, who has done such a magnificent job for our city. It’s been a pleasure to work with Greg.” 

During the meeting, Chief Lovell also gave his last police report to the council. Chief Lovell will officially retire on October 26, 2021. 

Other Business

Jasper City Council also renewed an Intergovernmental Agreement between Jasper and the Pickens County Board of Elections. This agreement lets the Pickens County Board of Elections assist with running the city elections. 

The council also entertained the consideration and approval of a repair project on Gennet Drive. Lonnie Waters explained the proposed repairs, and gave the council bids they’ve received for the project. The council agreed unanimously to table the motion for 30 days. The delay, the council says, will give them time to make a responsible decision regarding the finances of the project. 


Deputy Director Darrell Payne retires after 38 years

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Darrell Payne retirement

BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Deputy Director Darrell Payne stated it’s been an honor to serve the people of Fannin as part of emergency services.

Payne’s seen EMS goes through several changes over the years and commended EMS employees and volunteers for their efforts. He added that Fannin has one of the best EMS departments in the state.

“It’s a role that you never know what you’re going to see when you go out there,” Chairman Jamie Hensley said, “We appreciate the job you’ve done for this county.”

Post One Johnny Scearce detailed his experiences working with Payne since they first started in their respective departments. He told Payne, “It has been an honor.”

EMA Director Robert Graham gave Payne a watch to recognize his years of service.

Becky Huffman will be replacing Payne as EMS deputy director. Huffman’s the first female to hold the role.

Hensley explained that several people interviewed for the position, and everyone brought something unique to the role. However, Huffman earned the job.

“She doesn’t care to come in there and tell me how she feels, sometimes that’s good, sometimes that bad. I appreciate that about her. I think she sees both sides and she’s going to do what’s best for both,” Hensley commented.

Huffman’s first order of business in her new role was to ask permission to bid out to replace an existing ambulance. They need to replace a truck and then remount the existing ambulance box on a new chassis.

Fire Department Update

Fire Chief Larry Thomas gave a good update concerning ISO rating. After speaking with the inspection manager, Fannin is expected to drop back down to a 5/5x rating. The new number will be published in November 2021.

COVID-19 resulted in a slow down of processing rate updates, but the manager told Thomas that he was pushing Fannin through.

“It takes work of water departments, 911, and the fire department. Everybody’s involved,” Thomas explained about the process.

Hensley asked for Thomas to create a list of all the steps necessary to drop down to a 4 ISO rating. It would give the commissioners a tangible goal to strive for in the future.

Thomas also presented quotes for a new squad vehicle and moving the current car into more of a utility vehicle role. The county approved the purchase of the lower quote from Blue Ridge Ford for $32,700.

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