Back to where it all be­gan: Foster takes on role with city

♦ Cedar­town’s new code en­force­ment of­fi­cer serv­ing his hometown once again

The Standard Journal - - LOCAL - From press re­lease

J.P. Foster’s life has taken him many places. At­lanta, Cal­houn, Can­ton, South Amer­ica, North­ern Vir­ginia that his home is al­ways Ced-ar­town.

“I am a prod­uct of the Goodyear Vil­lage. 237 Third Street to be ex­act. Born and raised here. My love for this city runs deep,” Foster said.

So, it stands to rea­son that his pas­sion for this place he calls home led him to ac­cept a job de­signed to im­prove the qual­ity of life for those that live here.

Foster was re­cently hired as the Cedar­town Po­lice De­part-ment’s Code En­force­ment of­fi­cer. A ti­tle he in­her­its from re­tir­ing of­fi­cer Don Matthews. His first day on the job was June 11.

He’s un­doubt­edly fa­mil­iar with the ins and outs of law en­force­ment and the court be­gan as a rookie cop with the Cedar­town Po­lice De­part-ment in 1979.

“W.M. Moss hired me and I spent a lot of time shak­ing doors -- a term used for mak­ing sure local busi­nesses had their doors locked. It was a good time to be a rookie in Cedar-town. That was back when a car chase was big news. A lot dif­fer­ent from these days.” Foster ex­plained. “I did that for about a year or so, then I had some col­lege friends of mine con­vince me to ap­ply for a job with the Ge­or­gia Bureau of In­ves­ti­ga­tion.”

That friendly peer pres­sure sparked a nearly 30 year ca­reer in law en­force­ment.

Foster spent the next three decades deal­ing with homi-cides and drug deal­ers, money laun­der­ing and cor­rup­tion cases. In 2008, he traded all of that for Ber­muda shorts, headed south, all the way to Carta­gena, Colom­bia, and be­gan to en­joy re­tire­ment. 2012 rolled around and Foster found him­self mov­ing again, this time to North­ern Vir­ginia.

A re­spon­si­bil­ity to pro­vide care and com­fort for his par-ents led him back to Cedar-town in 2013. He’s en­joyed be­ing back in his hometown.

“My wife Sherri and I have loved be­ing here. We’ve done some ren­o­va­tions to our home and are ready to set­tle in,” Foster said.

Of course, for Foster, set­tling in doesn’t mean be­ing idle.

“I saw on Face­book where the code en­force­ment job was be­ing of­fered, I ap­plied and here I am, ready to get back to work,” he added.

His main fo­cus re­mains the same as it was on his first day as a po­lice of­fi­cer decades ago: help­ing peo­ple.

“You know I am un­der no mis­con­cep­tion that this will be an easy job. My ca­reer with the GBI and ev­ery other as­pect of my ca­reer has al­lowed me to re­late to peo­ple from all as­pects of life. I want to help prob­lems,” Foster said. “In this job, I will not be able to please every­one but I will be fair and I will be hon­est. I want to be a cheer­leader for peo­ple that are hav­ing is­sues with the cur­rent state of their home or their prop­erty and I would much rather see them spend money to im­prove things rather than fees.”

Work­ing to make Cedar-town a bet­ter place is not go­ing to be easy, he at­tests.

“I want peo­ple to know that we are work­ing hard to im­prove this town, but it’s go­ing to take a lot of help and in­volve­ment from our resi-dents as we con­vince peo­ple to take own­er­ship of their prop-erty and their neigh­bor­hoods,” he said.

Foster is a 1974 grad­u­ate of Cedar­town High School and grad­u­ated from Jack­sonville State Univer­sity with a de­gree in crim­i­nal jus­tice/law en­force-ment.

He and his late wife, Danna Ed­wards Foster raised two chil­dren, Matt and Zach. Foster and his wife, Sherri, have one son, Gabe.

Con­trib­uted by Aimee Mad­den, City of Cedar­town

J.P. Foster will be tak­ing over Code En­force­ment du­ties for the City of Cedar­town. /

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