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Chief Swicord sounds off

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"[College students] will cause this whole town to shut down again”

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Milledgeville Police Department Chief Dray Swicord was clearly frustrated earlier this week following a weekend of partying around downtown Milledgeville.

The MPD broke up three different house parties, all totaled, including one that was roughly 200 people strong. Very few people, if any, were wearing masks, according to Swicord.

At the downtown/restaurant bars, meanwhile, Swicord said that “it was busy and looked like a regular weekend in regular times.” Last Thursday, Swicord was told to suspend the MPD’s “Operation Go The Distance” program, which aimed to enforce social distancing during late-night bar hours downtown.

“I was told that the City Council did not approve and to pull the (patrol) detail,” Swicord said.

City Councilman Walter Reynolds, who represents the downtown business district area, said that “Operation Go The Distance was well-intended, but not executed well.” Reynolds added the city council members “received a great deal of pushback” from downtown restaurant owners in regards to several provisions, including the provision that kitchens must be open in order to serve alcohol. Also, Operation Go The Distance did not allow restaurant/ bars to charge a cover to patrons.

Swicord, meanwhile, seemed disillusioned by the decisions of many Georgia College students.

”[College students] will cause this whole town to shut down again. At this rate, it’s not a matter of if, but when. People are just not adhering to common sense, and these [college] kids simply are not cooperating,” he said.