Congratulations Officer Todd Binnion!
On July 7, 2016, Todd received his specialized Criminal Investigator certification from Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). Todd is the first officer in the state that has received the Criminal Investigator certification. According to POST, there are approximately 60,000 officers in the state of Georgia, so this is an impressive achievement to be currently the only officer with this certification. The Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) created the Criminal Investigator certification and received POST approval for it in July 2012. In GPSTC’s proposal for this certification to POST, they wrote the following two paragraphs to support the need for the Criminal Investigator certification.
“The investigation of crime is a key component at every level of policing. From misdemeanor to the most serious of felonies, there is an expectation that our State and Local law enforcement agencies will have the capacity and capability to effectively conduct thorough criminal investigations. Professional competence to carry out criminal investigations is essential to every law enforcement agency.
Georgia’s State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies have faced many legal and civil challenges as they investigate and prosecute the multitude of crimes they are empowered to enforce. This has caused judges, juries and the public to closely examine the investigatory methods and techniques used during these investigations and this additional scrutiny has given rise to new legal challenges in court. As a result, the Police Academy Division, State and Local Law Enforcement Agencies have expressed the need for a P.O.S.T. certification that will recognize criminal investigators as qualified practitioners, who are highly trained, competent, disciplined and focused on their responsibilities to perform the duties of a criminal investigator. This recognition will bolster the reputation of the investigator and their agency and will most certainly give them greater credibility when facing legal challenges they will likely encounter when prosecuting cases.”
The Criminal Investigator certification is the most extensive of all the advanced certifications POST offers. To obtain this certification Todd was required to take 17 classes totaling 512 hours from Homicide Investigations to Cybercrime Investigations.
THE NEXT DNR BOARD MEETINGS WILL BE HELD ON TUESDAY-WEDNESDSAY, AUGUST 30-31 2016, IN THE DNR BOARDROOM:
COMMITTEE MEETINGS WILL BEGIN AT 1:00 P.M. ON TUESDAY, AUGUST 30, 2016
BOARD MEETING WILL BEGIN AT 9:00 A.M. ON WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2016
Parks Recreation & Historic Sites
August 10 – 11, Statesboro – Services were held for Matt Muhmel, park manager of George L. Smith State Park who lost his courageous, 2 ½ year battle with cancer this week.
In FY16 there were over 3,300 more programs offered to over 68,300 more guests and PRHSD made more than $119,000 in direct program revenue than in FY15. The total revenue generated from programs offered, including Historic Site admission and indirect revenue for FY16 was $2,291,322.55. The total net direct program revenue was $1,116,384.89.
Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course at Richard B. Russell State Park made the Top 50 Courses Under $50 list on Golf Advisor for 2015. The course ranked #10 overall in the country. http://www.golfadvisor.com/articles/top-25-rated-courses-under-50-dollars-15987.htm
PRHSD will collaborate with HPD on an editorial for the September issue of the Georgia Municipal Associations’ GA Cities magazine. The focus will be on historic preservation, tourism and is impact.
For the month of July, forty (40) sites saw an overall revenue increase and twenty-two (22) saw a 10% or higher revenue growth.
Law Enforcement Division
On August 6th, Rangers from Region I-Calhoun responded to a boating incident on Lake Blue Ridge involving an injured skier. Upon arrival the Rangers learned that the victim had broken his right femur while attempting to wake board near marker 5 in Fannin County. The 53-year-old male victim was taken to the marina where EMS transported him on to Fannin Regional Hospital.
On August 4th and 5th, staff from Region VII-Brunswick participated the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council meeting in Charleston, SC. While there, they represented Georgia at the joint meeting of the LE Advisory Panel and the LE Committee where they, and representatives from Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, discussed a number of issues including proper stowage of spearfishing gear, the use of operator cards in other U.S. regions, Joint Enforcement Agreement (JEA) activities, and others.
On August 6th, Region II-Gainesville Rangers, along with the Sheriff’s offices and Fire Services from Hall and Forsyth counties, responded to a boating incident on Lake Lanier near Three Sisters Island. Witnesses reported that a 23-year-old male subject fell off of a pontoon boat, went under and did not resurface. The operator of the pontoon was arrested for Boating Under the Influence (BUI) and transported to the Forsyth County Jail. Rangers and deputies conducted searches with side scan sonar for several days but the victim has not been located. Shore, surface, and DNR Aviation searches are continuing. DNR Law Enforcement’s Critical Incident Reconstruction Team (CIRT) will be completing a thorough investigation of the incident.
Coastal Resources Division
Staff participated in conference calls to discuss timelines for completion of the revision to the Atlantic Coastal Fish Habitat Partnership Conservation Strategic Plan (CSP). Additional discussions focused on how to incorporate climate change into the updated CSP.
The Cycle 19 Coastal Zone Management grant application was approved by NOAA in the amount of $2,385,000. Funding will be provided for 17 Coastal Incentive Grants and six Administrative Awards to academic institutions and local and non-DNR state governments as sub-grants.
The winning design for the new Georgia Marine Habitat License Plate was announced in a press release. Cobb County Graphic artist Omar Murcia’s full-color design of a red drum swimming over a living oyster reef received more than 52% of the votes from an online poll conducted in July. The new plate will be available in tag offices in October and a roll-out promotion effort will be held during CoastFest (Saturday, October 1). Funds from sales of this license plate will be used for oyster reef creation, construction of man-made fishing reefs along the shorelines of Georgia’s tidal rivers and creeks, and construction of man-made reefs in the Atlantic Ocean.
Historic Preservation Division
HPD Staff participated in the DNR Leadership Academy hosted by George T. Bagby State Park & Lodge.
HPD staff visited the Ellijay Streetscape, a Transportation Enhancement project within the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)-eligible Downtown Ellijay Historic District and near the NRHP-listed Gilmer County Courthouse. The project involves the construction and rehabilitation of sidewalks to improve the pedestrian experience in the city of Ellijay.
HPD archaeologist used Ground Penetrating Radar in efforts to help locate foundations of the historic, African American Flat Rock Community Church, in Lithonia - in assistance to the Arabia Mountain Heritage Foundation.
Wildlife Resources Division
Small game season opens Aug 15with squirrel. Dove quota hunt deadline is also Aug 15.
Staff investigated a fish kill in conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on Clarks Hill reservoir. A number of blueback herring had been reported dead and low dissolved oxygen levels were noted at the depths where the shad are normally active. The Corps increased the oxygen dispersed by their dissolved oxygen system in hopes of alleviating the situation.
Lisa Myler, manager of the EPD Southwest District Office in Albany, has received special recognition for her leadership. Lisa was selected as a member of the Albany Herald 40-under-40 Class of 2016. It’s an honor given to young professionals who are making an impact on Albany and southwest Georgia.
Air Protection Branch
Officer Todd Binnion received his Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) Criminal Investigator Certification. This is the most advanced certification POST offers, requiring 17 classes for a total of 512 hours and successful completion of both a cognitive test and a performance test. Todd is the first officer in the state of Georgia to obtain this certification, out of approximately 60,000 POST-certified officers in the state. More details are available on the DNR Intranet at http://dnrnet.dnr.state.ga.us/.
EPD has submitted the 2008 ozone maintenance State Implementation Plan (SIP) to US EPA. The SIP demonstrates that the 13-county metro Atlanta area has achieved the 2008 ozone standard for the 2013-2015 monitoring period.
Land Protection Branch
Two public hearings have been held on the proposed amendments to the Rules for Solid Waste Management regarding coal combustion residuals. The hearings were held in Atlanta and in Brunswick and were well-attended.
Watershed Protection Branch
EPD is gathering drought-related information daily and providing the Director with weekly updates. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/StateDroughtMonitor.aspx?GA about two-thirds of the state has been impacted by a lack of rainfall with conditions the worst north of the fall line (Columbus to Augusta.)
EPD has provided an update to US EPA regarding the revised PFOA/PFOS health advisory. The cities of Rome and Chatsworth continue to adjust their blends of source water. Both cities are providing drinking water with PFOA and PFOS levels below detection limits. The city of Dalton has tested private wells and has provided or offered connections to public water for homes testing above the advisory level.
Public stakeholder meetings pertaining to the reissuance of the Industrial Stormwater Permit are scheduled for August 18 and August 25, 2016 in the Tradeport Training Room, 4244 International Parkway, Suite 116, Atlanta, GA 30354. Each of the meetings will start at 10:00 a.m.
A public meeting and hearing pertaining to the reissuance of the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) Permit will be held on August 31, 2016 at EPD’s Tradeport Training Room located at 4244 International Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30354. This permit regulates stormwater discharges from GDOT roads within other MS4 areas. The meeting will begin at 9:00 a.m. and the public hearing will follow at 10:00.
A joint regional water planning council meeting will be held on August 23, 2016 at the Mountain Creek Conference Center at Callaway Gardens, 17800 US Hwy 27, Pine Mountain, GA 31822 for the Coosa – North Georgia, Lower Flint – Ochlockonee, Middle Chattahoochee and Upper Flint Councils. The Councils will meet to hear the latest results of the agricultural irrigation water demand forecast and water resource assessments from EPD’s resource managers and technical contractors.