Muscogee County Marshal's Office wins national award

The Muscogee County Marshal’s Office has been recognized as one of the nation's top law enforcement agencies by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

Marshal Greg Countryman's office placed second in the National Law Enforcement Challenge in the Special Law Enforcement Agency category which recognizes the department's of overall highway safety officer training, public information and education initiatives, innovative public safety programs, and highway safety enforcement efforts, according to a release.

The Georgia Governor's Office of Highway Safety, Director Bob Dallas presented the National IACP Award to Muscogee County Marshal Gregory Countryman this morning at 10 a.m.

There were 560 entries from 30 states and Canada entered in the National IACP Law Enforcement Challenge.

This morning the Marshal's office also unveiled it's renovated field service/communications office suite on the second floor of the west wing of the Government Center.

Countryman told the Ledger-Enquirer in June that he's waited three years for the upgrade. His department, with its 20 employees has has outgrown its current space despite renovations in 2005.

At 5,200 square feet, the new office is four times the size of its eighth-floor predecessor. Not all of that space is reserved for marshal's deputies, however. Countryman's crew will occupy 3,900 square feet.

Unlike the old office, the new one boasts a communication room with a wall mounted LCD flat screen television to run the high-tech computer-aided dispatch system. It also features three private offices, a presentation room with a motorized drop-down projection screen and surround sound, a property and evidence room and a break room.

"Right now our sergeants are sitting out here with their subordinates," Countryman said in June. "They have nowhere to counsel their subordinates. Nowhere to work. No privacy."

Funding for the project came from the city's 2008 fiscal mid-year budget. Because of monetary constraints, Countryman said he had to find creative ways to stretch his finances. He said using Georgia Department of Corrections inmate labor saved taxpayers and the Marshal's Office thousands of dollars. With $116,000, a crew of about 12 inmates transformed an unoccupied, unwanted concrete cave into a spacious, comfortable office in just under four months.

Countryman said his entire field services department consisting of 15 officers will operate out of the new office. Administration and court services personnel will remain on the eighth floor, along with his office.