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Nuisances to be handled by Sheriff’s Office

Decatur County Commissioners have decided to place responsibilities for enforcing local ordinances, including one for animal control, under the authority of the Sheriff’s Office.

When the county government created the position of code enforcement officer in 2008, those responsibilities were initially assigned to the county Planning Department. The Planning Department is primarily concerned with building codes and land subdivisions.

After the recent departure of the county’s former code enforcement officer, the Sheriff’s Office has designated the job for Deputy David Ellison, who previously had a 31-year career with the Georgia State Patrol, Chief Deputy Jim Morris said.

Ellison has been working for the Sheriff’s Office for about a year and had been overseeing courtroom security, Morris said. Ellison will also enforce the county’s proposed nuisance ordinance if county commissioners approve it.

The county recently also hired an animal control officer, Red Harrell, who will also be working out of the Sheriff’s Office.

According to Morris, both Ellison and Harrell will attend training classes to certify them in their respective fields. Morris said he and Lt. Rick Ashley, a veteran deputy with experience enforcing state laws on litter and illegal trash dumps, will supervise the county’s code enforcement.

If Decatur County citizens living outside Bainbridge would like to report problem animals, nuisances or litter, they can call the Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number at 248-3044, Morris said.

In Bainbridge, people may call Public Safety’s non-emergency number, 248-2038.