GUYTON — Chief James Breletic of the Guyton Police Department wants open communication and closed cases.
During the May 11 meeting of the Guyton City Council, Breletic, hired in March 2020, was recognized for his assistance in a Christmas 2018 case involving a stolen Rolex. Mayor Russ Deen read a letter from the victim that said in part:
“I reported the theft immediately and heard nothing until late fall 2020. I received a call from Chief Breletic. He was most sympathetic when I told him the watch had been an anniversary gift from my late husband and assured me he would do his best to recover it.
“The chief had also asked me if I had spoken to my insurance agent about filing a claim on my homeowner’s (insurance). I was told unless it was a break-in or a robbery my insurance wouldn’t cover it. The chief said this was incorrect information and reached out to my insurance company on my behalf. I received in compensation in the amount of $2,500.
“In closing, I wish to express how fortunate the Guyton residents are to have such a dedicated and caring chief heading their police force.”
After hearing the contents of the letter, Breletic, who was applauded by council members and the audience, issued an update on the case.
“We actually put that on the computer for Rolex so that if that watch is ever worked on or anything, it will be recovered,” he said.
Using Courtware Solutions, a software program used by many law enforcement agencies for reporting purposes, Breletic has looked into cases that date to 2006, the year the Guyton Police Department originated. He divvied some of them up among his officers for further probing.
“What we are able to do is go back through the old cases and try to resurrect them,” Breletic said. “If not, we are able — because we are a small department and the officers before us did a good job — to recontact people to find out if there is any new news.”
Giving cases a second look has benefits even if they remain unsolved.
“We might get a resolution in cases that aren’t ‘high profile’ but, most important, is that we are talking to people,” the chief said. “The victim’s might say, ‘No. We don’t live there anymore but thanks for calling.’ This is a way to start letting the community know that we are out there.”
Contact with the community is vital to law enforcement, the chief said. Engaging with the public helped his officers solve 27 of 29 cases last month.
“Once we have communication we can work together,” Breletic said.
Mayor Russ Deen is pleased with the level of law enforcement Guyton citizens are receiving.
“Guyton’s police department is one of our greatest successes,” he said. “Chief Breletic and his team of dedicated officers have reduced crime, increased coverage and improved the safety of our streets. Guyton PD is also looking to the future by starting a system of Neighborhood Watch Programs to encourage all citizens to take an active role in making their community the best it can be.
“I’m proud of our chief and all our officers. I sleep better knowing Guyton is safe thanks to their efforts.”
Breletic, who hopes to add a couple officers to his staff this year, voiced appreciation for Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie for his assistance in battling crime in Guyton.
“Words can’t describe that man and his department,” Breletic said. “I don’t think it’s in the English dictionary. I know a lot of sheriffs in the state of Georgia and Sheriff McDuffie is at the top of that list. I have nothing but accolades to say about him and his staff.
“The Sheriff’s Office is so helpful with the citizens of Guyton, Springfield. Everybody in this county really works together.”