Rome to buy take­home cop cars

Com­mis­sion­ers will also rec­og­nize Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness Month in ad­vance of Fri­day’s Walk A Mile event.

Rome News-Tribune - - FRONT PAGE - By Diane Wag­ner DWag­ner@RN-T.com

The Rome City Com­mis­sion is ex­pected to move Mon­day on its first pur­chase funded through the 2017 spe­cial pur­pose, lo­cal op­tion sales tax.

Col­lec­tions won’t start un­til the cur­rent SPLOST ex­pires on March 31, 2019, but the board ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion in May that al­lows the city to ad­vance funds for a project and re­im­burse it­self when the rev­enue comes in. The pub­lic safety com­mit­tee is rec­om­mend­ing the pur­chase of 20 po­lice cars.

The 2017 SPLOST con­tains a $925,000 ear­mark for the cars, which would com­plete the Rome Po­lice Depart­ment’s take-home car pro­gram.

Po­lice Chief Denise Downer-McKin­ney told the cit­i­zen-com­mit­tee that ap­proved the ear­mark that the pro­gram helps re­cruit and keep trained of­fi­cers. Hav­ing the cars at their homes also speeds of­fi­cers’ re­sponses if they’re called out while off-duty and the parked ve­hi­cles de­ter crime in those neigh­bor­hoods.

City Com­mis­sion­ers cau­cus at 5 p.m. and start their reg­u­lar ses­sion at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall, 601 Broad St. Both ses­sions are pub­lic.

The board also is slated to is­sue a procla­ma­tion declar­ing Oc­to­ber as Do­mes­tic Vi­o­lence Aware­ness Month. The Floyd County Com­mis­sion signed off on the joint procla­ma­tion ear­lier this month.

Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence af­fects one in four women and one in seven chil­dren in Ge­or­gia, ac­cord­ing to Ash­ley De­mon­breun-Chap­man, out­reach co­or­di­na­tor of the non­profit Hos­pi­tal­ity House for Women.

The or­ga­ni­za­tion’s an­nual Walk A Mile In Her Shoes event is set for 11 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Fri­day at Ro­tary Plaza, on the river­walk be­tween the Fo­rum River Cen­ter and the court­house.

Hun­dreds of men, women and chil­dren — but es­pe­cially men — typ­i­cally show up to pa­rade down Broad Street in high heels and

other fan­ci­ful footwear. Mu­sic and a “hottest legs” com­pe­ti­tion for men are part of the free event, which in­cludes in­for­ma­tion about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sur­vivors and rec­og­nizes sur­vivors.

“It shows sur­vivors we hear them, and raises aware­ness of the prob­lem,” De­mon­breun-Chap­man told the county board.

Also on Mon­day, City Com­mis­sion­ers are slated to sign off on the North­west Ge­or­gia Hous­ing Au­thor­ity’s plans to is­sue bonds cov­er­ing two hous­ing projects.

The city is not back­ing the bonds, but its ap­proval is re­quired un­der fed­eral law.

The NWGHA is con­vert­ing its 101-unit High Rise One on North Av­enue and its 100-unit Park Homes com­plex on Reser­voir Street to Rental As­sis­tance Demon­stra­tion hous­ing.

The U.S. Depart­ment of Hous­ing and Ur­ban De­vel­op­ment RAD pro­gram shifts tra­di­tional pub­lic hous­ing to the per­ma­nent Sec­tion 8 voucher pro­gram. The more sta­ble, and flex­i­ble, pro­gram opens the pos­si­bil­ity of at­tract­ing pri­vate in­vestors to mod­ern­ize old units at risk of de­mo­li­tion.

At­lanta-based Rea Ven­tures Group is part­ner­ing with the NWGHA, which will sell up to $7.4 mil­lion in tax-ex­empt bonds for the high rise re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and up to $7 mil­lion for the Park Homes project.

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