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Editorial Summary: Georgia | Macon Telegraph

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Editorial Summary: Georgia |  Macon Telegraph

Brunswick News. May 20, 2023.

Editorial: Nursing issues require more than just committees

A Senate study committee about to begin an investigation into Georgia’s troubled nursing system will likely find that its attempt to pinpoint what the program’s flaws are will require more than flipping through A, B, and C. Members should be prepared to work your way through the entire alphabet.

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It may be even longer than the seven months remaining before the 2024 General Assembly session opens before we are able to give the Family and Children’s Services Division of the Georgia Department of Human Services all the advice it deserves , to be considered. After all, children are the target of concern. It would be a disservice to anyone to engage in anything vague or incoherent.

With around 11,000 children placed in foster care in the state every day, it almost goes without saying that overworked directors and staff would appreciate any sensible and actionable input or advice from state politicians.

Dealing with children from broken and unstable families and environments is a difficult task. Mothers and fathers who devote their lives to their sons and daughters can hardly imagine that. Thankfully, there are men and women in this state who are able to volunteer to help boys and girls in need of permanent or temporary rescue.

The Senate Study Committee for Nursing and Adoption was set up by a Senate resolution during the past legislative period. Eight members were appointed to the committee, which is chaired by Senator Kay Kirkpatrick, R-Marietta. The Study Committee is expected to make recommendations on how the state can improve the system during the 2024 General Assembly session.

That’s a pretty big task. It is fraught with all the problems that mess up the system, including its large number of clients. Finding a good home for each foster child and an adult volunteer willing to care for them remains a major problem. The state agency has no choice but to quarter the overabundance of children in hotel rooms. The fact that $28 million was spent on hotels last year alone shows how serious the problem is.

There are other problems, including caseworkers not responding to reports of child abuse in a timely manner or in any way properly.

The foster family problem needs more than a study board. It needs adults who care enough about children to be there where they are most needed, and more social workers to care for them.

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Valdosta Daily Times. May 19, 2023.

Editorial: Body cameras are good for police work

Every time we report a violent crime, shooting, or other dangerous situation involving public safety officials, we’re reminded of just how dangerous their job really is.

Dangerous situations are often caught on camera, and that’s good for everyone – both the police and the police.

Every day, police officers and first responders face dangers that most of us will never encounter in our lives.

A routine traffic stop or merely showing up to a crime scene in response to a domestic violence call can turn tragic in an instant.

We should all thank them for their service and respect the work they are doing to keep us all safe.

We’re not saying there aren’t bad cops.

There are.

And when bad cops do bad things, it affects them all negatively. Any officer and deputy who does the right things in the right way is right to resent those who misuse the badge.

We have been campaigning for police body cameras for many years. We are fortunate that body cameras are commonly worn in our jurisdiction.

We have said time and time again that these cameras should be on and recording every single interaction between law enforcement personnel and the public.

We also firmly believe that these records are public records and should be made available to the public in a timely manner.

While camera footage helps hold law enforcement personnel accountable for their actions, the footage is also used to protect and defend the officers themselves.

When police officers, sheriff’s deputies, or detectives are falsely accused, the footage can prove their innocence.

While the state of Georgia and the courts have not yet defined exactly when body camera footage should be released to the public, we believe this should be viewed in the same way that initial police reports are handled.

Initial incident reports must be available to the press and the public immediately after processing. Camera recordings are the purest form of initial reporting.

We wanted to write about this again when there is no current situation that calls for the release of body camera footage so that authorities can objectively consider the importance of this issue.

In cases across the country involving poor interactions with police, public outrage was compounded by long delays in releasing bodycam footage.

While state laws and courts do not yet mandate the immediate release of recordings, in almost every case it is in the strong public interest to do so.

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This story was originally published May 25, 2023 2:38 p.m.