RealNews

Call-ups sap homeland security strength

Safety agencies lose workers as reservists go on active duty. Brian Brakefield is just the kind of officer Clayton County Police Chief Darrell Partain wants. The 27-year-old is a crack shot, knows how to handle himself in tough situations and believes in serving his fellow man. Those qualities make him just as attractive to Uncle Sam. Brakefield, a policeman for two years and an Army National Guardsman for nine, could be called to active military duty any day with his Griffin-based 108th Armored Cavalry unit. If that happens, he’ll leave one more vacancy in Partain’s already short-staffed department and one more hole in Georgia’s homeland security. Thousands of reservists and members of the National Guard around Georgia have already answered the government’s call to active duty and more, like Brakefield, are ready to go. Because many of the citizen soldiers work as law enforcement and corrections officers, firefighters or emergency medical technicians, public safety employers are scrambling to get along without them. Georgia ranks seventh in the nation in the number of reservists called to active duty, according to the U.S. Department of Defense. As of March 7, 21 percent of Georgia’s 25,342 reservists had been activated. Full Story

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