Douglas County Sheriff Tim Pounds and Douglasville Police Chief Gary Sparks are visiting U Got Next Barbershop, located at 2127 Fairburn Rd. Suite F, for a Chat With The Chief/Sheriff today from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
The stop is the first in a series of barbershop/beauty shop tours both officials plan to take part in.
"I was very excited that they would even consider coming to the barbershop to do something like this," Master Barber Janet Maynor said. "The barbershop is a place where people come to talk or tell lies (laugh). That'd be a good place for them to come meet people that may want to talk about whatever's going on in the community."
Barbershops have traditionally been places where people come together to discuss the issues going on in the world, Sparks said. Planned topics that will be discussed include law enforcement's philosophies, what law enforcement is doing to keep the community safe, and what both departments are teaching their citizens about how to stay safe.
"It's a total commitment from every aspect of the community as it relates to everybody keeping the community safe," Sparks said. "Everybody has a stake in it. So we've got to work together as a community, as a team. This is just one way that we're going back and trying to bridge the communication lines between the community and law enforcement. To let the people know that the people in these two positions of the sheriff and chief of police are very concerned about the safety of our community. We want them to see us, meet us, and know us."
One of the more recent events the department hosted for the community was an Active Shooter Clinic on Nov. 9. Capt. Brad Stafford provided citizens with facts about mass shootings and tips on what to do if they're in the area of a shooting. The class took place four days after a mass shooting occurred at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and a little over a month after the mass shooting in Las Vegas. The room was mostly full.
"People tend to get involved when things are at the forefront of the news," Sparks said. "So we do the active shooter class every year around the same time. It's just a coincidence that this has occurred in Texas and Las Vegas. So people are in a heightened awareness of this criminal activity," Sparks said.