Griffin PD’s bias against The GRIP confirmed; “aggressive” news gathering identified as cause

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: After years of denying The GRIP Publisher Sheila Mathews’ assertions that she has been subjected to unequal, detrimental treatment by Griffin Police Department Chief Mike Yates, former City Manager Kenny Smith acknowledged a “difference” in her professional relationship with the Griffin Police Department. The November 2020 meeting during which these statements […]

EXCLUSIVE: Griffin Police Department manipulated public records, used civic group to “keep the minority community at bay”

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: In an organized effort, the city of Griffin and Griffin Police Department have engaged in the selective release of public records to manipulate the responses of Black residents to law enforcement uses of force and other GPD activities. At the same time, Griffin officials have refused to release those same records […]

City of Griffin and City Manager Kenny Smith sued for alleged civil rights violations

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: The city of Griffin and City Manager Kenny Smith have been served with a civil lawsuit alleging the civil rights of two former employees were violated. The suit pertains to the 2014 restructuring of the Griffin Police Department which resulted in the elimination of two positions – those of Maj. Terry […]

Questions arise on GPD body camera use

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: Publisher’s note – As the city of Griffin prepares to equip its police officers with body cameras, The Grip learned that current state law raises questions regarding the legality of their use in some circumstances. A number of interviews with local and state officials were conducted and a series of articles […]

Griffin city manager to name new GPD chief this week

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith has selected a candidate to head up the Griffin Police Department and said he will release a formal statement naming the new chief-of-police this week. “I’m in the process of naming a chief. If not tomorrow, then Thursday,” Smith said. “It will probably be Thursday.” Upon the […]

City denies GPD racial discrimination allegation in “strongest possible terms”

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: Two former officers of the Griffin Police Department – Dwayne Jones and Terry Brock – have retained legal counsel and allege city officials wrongfully terminated their employment based on racial discrimination. Both long-term employees of the city of Griffin, their employment was terminated Jan. 31 as part of the GPD restructuring recommended […]

Griffin Code Enforcement statistics indicate low ratio of citations to warnings

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: Griffin’s Code Enforcement initiative doubling to four the number of officers enforcing city ordinances will begin Feb. 1. Citing the Broken Window theory, which is frequently associated with community oriented policing, officials have promoted the increased effort as a plan that will reduce crime. “If the first broken window in a building […]

Deeper PD cuts were suggested by other municipalities’ chiefs

SHEILA A. MATHEWS ::: With the recent restructuring of the Griffin Police Department, manpower needs have come to the forefront of discussions among residents, but local officials have been considering the issue for a number of years. Determination of manpower needs Prior to the restructuring, City Manager Kenny Smith provided commissioners with data comparing Griffin’s […]

Projected savings of Police Department restructuring examined

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: The Griffin Police Department restructuring plan proposed by City Manager Kenny Smith as a cost-saving measure has been approved by the Board of Commissioners.   The plan, which calls for the elimination of several high-ranking officers’ positions, has sparked citizen outrage and outspoken commentary, with many wondering whether the savings justify the […]

Griffin Police: Departmental culture, ineffectiveness cited as significant issues necessitating restructuring

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: Ineffectiveness at the Griffin Police Department – this is what some Griffin commissioners are now citing as the driving force behind their support of a proposed restructuring plan that is scheduled to be voted upon at 6 p.m. Tuesday. “It’s not so much about immediate savings; it’s future savings. It’s about the […]

Griffin, McDonough officials disagree on PD comparison

SHEILA MATHEWS ::: In determining the need of a Police Department restructuring plan that includes the elimination of several positions and the addition of one Code Enforcement officer, Griffin City Manager Kenny Smith said he has compared the law enforcement budgets of other municipalities with populations comparable to Griffin’s such as Newnan, LaGrange, Forest Park […]