Vote is unanimous for new leader of police department, Goff is choice

Posted By | June 10, 2019 9:06 am

Doug Goff addresses the Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen, on June 6, after he was named the new police chief.

By Ron Moses

“I just wanted to say thank you for your vote of confidence,” said Doug Goff, who was named as Sparta’s new police chief last week. “I am humbled, grateful, and excited for this new chapter in my life. I appreciate it with all of my heart. I will do the best I can do and that’s all I can do. I need your help and God’s – not necessarily in any order.”

Sparta Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously, on June 5, to approve the hiring. Goff was one of four finalists for the position after a long and exhaustive search, which included the help of a consultant with the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.

“Doug Goff has been a long time city employee,” said Mayor Jeff Young. “He is a great police officer and well respected in the community. We scored him, and he scored really high. We liked him, and he seemed like someone that would be a good fit for the job, and we finally made it official.”

Police Chief Jeff Guth, who recently announced his upcoming retirement, will retain his official capacity until July 31. Young understands the importance of hiring someone already familiar with the city and the inner workings of the police department. Young said there are some advantages to that over a new hire.

“He will know problems that he has maybe dealt with in the past and how to deal with them in the future,” said Young.

A native White Countian, Goff said he and his family are home, and there is nowhere he would rather serve.

“I was born and raised here in White County, and my children were raised here,” said Goff. “I have a lot of connections here, and my family is here. I appreciate, so much, the board giving me the opportunity to do this. It is just going to enhance what I have been doing.”

“I have been a deputy, a school resource officer, a sergeant, an investigator, and now, for this next chapter of my life, the chief of police,” said Goff. “He [Chief Guth] has done a superb job. He makes it look effortless, but there is more to it. We are living in some pretty perilous times. We have got school teachers who have laid the paddle down and started packing guns. This is a new dimension. We have got to have a police force that is strong enough to take down the most hardened criminal but be able to get a child’s kitten out of a tree if need be. That’s the kind of department I would like to see.”

Goff said his experience and close work with Guth will assist him in the position, but there will be some changes in his department.

“I guess being with the police department is kind of like having children,” said Goff. “They have certain needs. I see some needs that the chief and I don’t see eye to eye on. That is not a bad thing. There are several different things I would like to look at, and I look forward to the opportunity to take care of those problems. It’s nothing that’s hindering officers from doing their jobs. Any kind of tools we can give to make our officers’ life better. I am going to have a good day when all of our officers go home at night.”

In other business, the board removed the hiring recommendation of a city administrator from the agenda after a failure to narrow the candidates down to one. They also approved a resolution amending the City of Sparta human resources manual by adding a new travel policy.

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the hiring of Kristy Davis as office manager for Sparta Electric Department
  • Approved the hiring of Joshua Roberts as the wastewater treatment plant manager. Roberts was already an employee of the department and was promoted.
  • Approved taking applications for a skilled laborer in the street department.
  • Approved Braxton Hutson as the city’s newest volunteer firefighter.
  • Approved purchase of a transformer for Tri-State Distribution
  • Approved bid of $15,059.43 by Lowe’s to supply building materials for the police department evidence building.
  • Approved purchase of a $13,000 JWC Grinder, also known as a Muffin Monster, for the Mayberry pump station, chemical bids, rock and gravel bids, hot mix bids, and the authorization to take bids for a new fuel system
  • Heard city recorder’s financial report and a property tax change of assessments.

The meeting adjourned. Aldermen Judy Payne was not present.

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