Archive for January, 2012

What a dreary day in ATH.  It has been raining for three straight days, but I kind of like it.  My daughter loves it, but I only kind of like it because I just keep thinking about the gutters and downspouts, drainage, the shedding of water off the roof near the chimney, and other homeowner concerns when an extraordinary amount of rain comes down.  Ignorance is bliss…

So last Friday I sat down with UGA Police Chief Jimmy Williamson to talk to him a little bit about the department and then more specifically about the changes in the department associated with the opening of the new Normaltown area Health Science Campus (HSC).  For the uninitiated, The HSC is a 57 acre new addition to UGA.  Located West of Downtown and Main Campus, the HSC is the former home of the U.S. Navy Supply School, which was recently closed as part of the Base Realignment and Closure Act (BRAC). Lots of folks kept calling the campus “the new med school campus” because the campus was soon going to house a new UGA med school in partnership with the Medical College of Georgia. The reality is a little different; yes the med school will be housed there, but many other heath science classes will also be held there (along with faculty offices and housing).  Estimates are that there will be up to 300 undergrads taking classes there each day along with the med school students (last I heard, the med school goal was to graduate 140 doctors each year).  Big changes for Normaltown are in process!  Normaltown, by the way, got its name from the fact that the Navy School was originally a normal school (teacher college) many moons ago. 

All this got me to thinking: An additional 57 acre satellite campus a few miles from main campus is surely going to change the UGA Police Department’s already unique role in the community.  Policing a large addition several miles away from main campus definitely puts the UGA police in more contact with the general public while wending their way to Normaltown.  What does that mean for us? The chief and I met a while ago when I showed him and his wife a house that I had listed, and I have since sort of kept up with him.  He was kind of enough to talk with Classic City Guide about the topic at hand.  It would be great if you would share this interview as a link with your friends in the community. The chief is a really good guy, and his crew that hails from what amounts to the coolest police station ever (The old/newly renovated Hodgson Oil Building in Downtown) are professionals from the top down.  Being a UGA police officer is not a stepping stone to a “real” police career, as you will hear; rather, they are the real deal and look after us in more ways than one.  Joe P.

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