MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) - With consolidation just more than eight months away, big changes are on the way for law enforcement in Macon and Bibb County.
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office laid out its plans to the consolidation transition task force on Wednesday.
By this time next year, the sheriff's office will have split Macon and Bibb County into five separate districts, including one just for downtown.
"We want to have it to where that those people who are assigned downtown know the area," says Bibb County Sheriff David Davis, "and that they know the type of enforcement that is required for a downtown center."
The five new districts were just one part of the sheriff's office's update.
Macon police officers moving over to the sheriff's office will work eight hour shifts, up from their normal 12, and several divisions between the two departments will have to be merged.
The new internal affairs unit will serve two roles. One part will conduct background checks on potential employees and the other will field complaints from the general public.
"That's sort of the structure that we have now in an internal affairs setup that we have," says Davis. "They answer straight to the sheriff. The sheriff makes the decisions on any type of discipline."
The familiar green decals on deputy vehicles will be gone soon, replaced by a simpler, gold and black look.
"It's a little less expensive than the design that we have," says Davis. "It's something that we can take the old design off of the Macon police cars and then we can get this one put on there very quickly."
With plenty still left to do before consolidation, it's safe to say the sheriff's office will be ready to go come January.
"I can't say enough about the work of my command staff and the police department," says Davis, "and how they've pitched in and really come up to the plate to do this."
Several Macon police officers, like members of the bomb squad, have already been "deputized,"
giving them full jurisdiction over the entire county. Davis says a formal ceremony to induct all the new officers will take place later this year.