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On the front lines
Council recognizes police department for its efforts
new deh city council police pic
A few of the Great Bend Police Department personnel are shown during the City Council meeting Monday night. They were joined at the meeting by most of the department in being honored for their service to the community. - photo by DALE HOGG Great Bend Tribune

The Great Bend City Council had a chance to get to know the members of the Police Department a little better when the officers and other personnel were introduced Monday night.
“As acting police chief, I want to recognize our police department for being an important part of our community at a time when nationwide many are questing the relations between law enforcement and the public,” said City Administrator Howard Partington. 
At the beginning of the meeting, Partington took time to share information about the department, then the council took a short break for a small reception and to exchange introductions.
“I’ve seen some things that have troubled me,” Partington said. He was referring to news reports from Ferguson, Mo., and other places where there was animosity and hard feelings between citizens and police.
“That’s not here,” he said. “We darn sure support you. They are all together in one thought – making Great Bend a better place.”
The council’s number one goal was to reduce crime and make Great Bend drug free. “This is the front line,” Partington said.
“We are proud of the police force and what you do,” Mayor Mike Allison said.
Most of the GBPD’s staff crowded into the City Office Monday night for the recognition.
The GBPD has as many as 30 full-time commissioned police officers, five non-commissioned personnel, and seven part-time personnel. This includes 21 patrol officers, three detectives, a chief (vacant at this time), a captain (assistant chief), administrative lieutenant and other administrative officers.
It also has a records division and oversees the school crossing guards.
Partington is filling in as chief following the retirement of long-time Police Chief Dean Akings in December. The search is underway to find a permanent replacement for Akings.
Except for the chief’s office, the department has been fully staffed since Nov. 17, Partington said. This is the first time in quite a while that this has been the case.
The GBPD made arrangements with the Barton County Sheriff’s Office to cover the city for an hour during the celebration.