Record number of guns taken from Atlanta airport passengers
Dallas Police Chief Joe Duvall and Fairmount Police Chief Lane Bennett were seated as members of the Highland Rivers Health governing board at its most recent meeting in October.
Duvall and Bennett will serve as board representatives for Paulding and Gordon counties, respectively.
“The fact is, law enforcement officers are often the first people who come into contact with individuals in mental health crisis or with substance use disorders, so it is critical that we work together closely to meet the needs of vulnerable individuals in our communities,” said Chantel Adams, chair of Highland Rivers’ governing board. “Chief Duvall and Chief Bennett will be excellent additions to our governing board and we are pleased to have them join us.”
Highland Rivers Health is governed by a 14-member board that includes a representative from every county in the agency’s service area (with two representatives from both Floyd and Polk counties) who are appointed by each county’s board of commissioners.
Members serve threeyear terms, and terms are staggered to ensure continuity of governance.
The board includes several individuals who have family members with mental illness, addictive disease or developmental disabilities, and includes representatives from local government, the judicial system, family services, private industry, law enforcement, and healthcare, among others.
For more information about the Highland Rivers Health governing board, including a list of members, meeting schedule and meeting minutes, visit the Highland Rivers website board page at http://highlandrivershealth. com/governing-board/.
Federal authorities say more guns have been seized at security checkpoints in Atlanta’s airport during 2018 than at any other airport in the nation.
Nearly 300 firearms have been found this year at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. That means it has set a record even before the year ends, The Atlanta JournalConstitution reported.
“I know you can’t imagine this, but the passenger will say, ‘I forgot it was in the bag,’” said Mary Leftridge Byrd, the Transportation Security Administration’s Atlanta federal security director.
U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak also reminded travelers to ensure that they haven’t unknowingly brought a weapon to the airport.
“Check your bags, check your purses,” he said. “Double and triple check before you come to the airport to make sure you do not have a firearm, if you intend to fly.”
Last year, a record 245 guns were discovered at Atlanta’s airport.
Atlanta’s airport has held the No. 1 spot in the nation for guns uncovered at checkpoints for the past two years.
Authorities say 293 firearms have been found in carry-on bags and as improperly packed or undeclared guns in checked luggage so far this year in Atlanta. The Transportation Security Administration says that on average, 80 to 90 percent of the weapons are loaded.
People found in violation may face punishment, including federal citations, civil penalties, criminal charges and fines. Penalties for offenders include a fine of up to $13,333. Repeat offenders could be charged with a federal misdemeanor, punishable with up to a $100,000 fine and a year in jail, Pak said.
“If you are caught with a weapon in your bag, even a first-time offender will pay a fine. You will be issued a citation. You’ll have to appear in court to resolve the citation. You’ll lose your gun. You won’t make your flight,” said Jim Hurley, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s assistant special agent in charge in Atlanta.
Pak said he’s looking at ideas for more ways to get the message out, such as reminders to travelers when they check in online with Delta Air Lines and more signs at airport parking notifying passengers that guns are not allowed at security checkpoints.
HOUSE FIRE: Firefighters responded to a house fire in past weeks (Saturday, Nov. 17) to a structure in flames and unfortunately recorded as a total loss in the Branch Road area of Cedartown. Polk County Fire and Emergency Management reported on their Facebook page no cause for the fire, but did report all made it out safely and without injury.