Chattooga County Commissioner Jason Winters authorized the purchase of three cell phones for use by the Georgia State Patrol earlier this year.  Commissioner Winters told AM 1180 Chattooga County Radio that the purchase was made at the request of the Georgia State Patrol post in Rome.

Trooper Charles Sizemore with the Georgia State Patrol told AM 1180 that he made the request because state budget cuts had forced troopers to pay for cell phone usage out of their own pocket.  Sizemore stated that Gordon County also has an arrangement where they supply troopers with cell phones and that Floyd County provides cell phones for DNR officers.

Sizemore pointed out that 100% of the money collected from citations written in Chattooga County goes back to the county without the GSP keeping any of the money collected.  Sizemore said that the cell phones help to keep the line of communication open between the GSP and county officials.  During the Good Friday Tornado and the Hays Prison Break troopers relied on cell phones for speedy communication between the Chattooga County Sheriff’s Department and emergency workers. 

Sizemore went on to say that he talks with Chattooga County Public Works Director Lamar Canada along with the Sheriff’s Department several times a week about issues that arise in Chattooga County. 

Commissioner Winters told AM 1180 that the cost of the phones is minimal compared to the amount of money collected by the State Patrol that remains in Chattooga County.  The county purchased 3 cell phones for use by the Georgia State Patrol, one for each shift supervisor at the Rome post.