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.

Text Only
What We Think
  • Feed the hungry, adopt a duck

    If you haven’t already adopted a duck, you have a little more than a week to do so.

    April 17, 2014

  • If I were mayor

    Each year, the City of Valdosta holds an essay contest, “If I Were Mayor,” with students in the area writing their ideas about what they would do as the head of the city.

    April 16, 2014

  • The real lessons of a mock drill

    Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

    April 14, 2014

  • Kudos to VPD

    Followed by a stellar report on Sunday about the drop in the crime rate in the City of Valdosta, city police officers prove their worth once again by arresting a dangerous fugitive in our community.

    April 13, 2014

  • It just plain stinks

    After every rain event, the pungent smell of sewage can be detected around the rivers and streams of south Georgia, and Florida residents brace for more to float their way.

    April 13, 2014

  • Pennsylvania school stabbings: Why?

    The following editorial appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Thursday, April 10:

    April 11, 2014

  • European bans on emails unlikely in America

    Several European countries are banning work emails to employees before and after normal working hours, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., in an effort to curb the perceived abuse of employees by corporations.

    April 11, 2014

  • Strength of character

    It was an unusual friendship — a tiny 8-year old girl with long blonde hair and the 6’10” Michigan State basketball player.

    April 10, 2014

  • Daly’s return a boost for Valdosta

    Flashy, colorful and always a hit with the fans for his long drives and humble demeanor, John Daly’s return to Kinderlou Forest and the South Georgia Classic is a boon for Valdosta.

    April 9, 2014

  • Too many pinwheels

    April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, with numerous volunteers assisting the Child Advocacy Center in placing pinwheels on the lawn of the Valdosta City Hall. Each pinwheel represents one child that was a victim of abuse in 2013. Volunteers placed 887 pinwheels in remembrance.

    April 8, 2014

Top News

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results