Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

December 9, 2012

What We Think: The right man at the right time

VALDOSTA — With a measure of surprise and dismay was the news disseminated recently that Chief Frank Simons was stepping down after the first of the year.

Not many men can look back at their careers and say they will always be known as the right man for the job at exactly the right time, but to his credit, that is Simons' legacy. His 17-year-plus tenure at the VPD will be forever remembered as the time when one man turned around an entire department, restored the faith of the community, raised standards, and made an enormous difference in the lives of many.

When Simons accepted the job, it was the first department head position that brand-new City Manager Larry Hanson had to replace following police department scandals in the mid-1990s. It was a leap of faith for both men. For a community who had lost all faith in their police department. For the remaining officers and city employees who needed strong, but gentle, guidance. For help not in erasing the past, but in embracing a future and moving forward.

Simons raised the standards, the educational requirements, the training skills. He guided the department through the national accreditation process. He succeeded in only four years. And that was only the public aspect of his job.

Inside the department, officers saw a man of character and determination. A man of fairness and equality. A man who cared not for politics, excuses, or inequality. Females  and blacks were given the same opportunities as white males, and they excelled. He promoted on merit and hard work. He was a leader.

The city and Hanson are faced with the daunting task of finding someone who can fill Simons’ position. The new chief will have a far easier time as the department is in excellent shape but the new chief will have mighty big shoes to fill.

Farewell, Chief Simons. You were the right man at the right time for the job. And you got it done. Congratulations on your retirement but most of all, thank you. Sincerely, from an entire community — thank you.

1
Text Only
What We Think
  • Regional shopping makes sense

    This weekend is the tax-free holiday in Georgia.

    July 31, 2014

  • Focus now on what lies within

    Forty-three years ago the federal mandate to desegregate Valdosta City Schools was necessary.

    July 30, 2014

  • The Times belongs to you

    The Valdosta Daily Times belongs to you. As we move forward with new leadership in our newsroom, we want you to know about our continued commitment to the communities we serve.

    July 28, 2014

  • The art of plenty to do

    In Sunday’s paper, readers found an extensive list of shows, exhibits, concerts and more for the upcoming arts seasons in Valdosta-Lowndes County.

    July 27, 2014

  • The power of One

    Christine Batson wondered the same thing that many people wonder.

    July 26, 2014

  • Thumbs Up

    THUMBS UP: To Air Force Lt. Col. David Rayman. The 75th Fighter Squadron commander recently logged 3,000 flight hours in the A-10C Thunderbolt II. A rare feat. In presenting a Moody Air Force Base story on his accomplishment in The Times, it’s good to see the face and know the name of one of the many pilots who cross our South Georgia skies. Congratulations on 3,000 and thank you for your service.

    July 26, 2014

  • Closing another summer chapter

    The South Georgia Regional Library brings its 2014 summer reading program to a close this weekend with an event that celebrates readers and writers.

    July 24, 2014

  • Countdown for voter apathy

    If you don’t think your vote counts, talk to Ellis Black and John Page today.

    July 24, 2014

  • Vote to remove signs

    Congratulations to the winners in the primary runoff election Tuesday.

    July 23, 2014

  • Runoff election counts today

    Today is an election day that started just a little more than two months ago.

    July 21, 2014

Top News
Poll

Do you agree with the millage rate increases?

Yes. We need to maintain services
No. Services should have been cut.
     View Results