This week’s Hometown Public Servant is Jessica Sumner, Twin City Police and Municipal Court clerk. Today, Sumner celebrates one year of employment since accepting her current job title on June 9, 2020.
Sumner’s year-long tenure working in a law enforcement setting is a first for her. However, she is not to be mistaken for a rookie. As the wife of a law enforcement officer, Sumner says she has been exposed to all sides, both good and bad.
“My husband, Justin Sumner, spent 10 years with state law enforcement; beginning with dispatching for Georgia State Patrol and later becoming a POST certified state officer and GPSTC instructor with Georgia’s Motor Carrier Compliance Division. In the decade of being a LEO wife, I was exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly when it pertains to law enforcement and developed a much deeper respect and understanding of the profession,” she explained.
Prior to taking her position at the local police department, Sumner was employed by St. Joseph’s Candler Medical Group in Metter. She was immediately hired by the business after completing clinicals and graduating from Southeastern Technical College, where she obtained degrees in certified medical assistant and phlebotomy. Sumner enjoyed working at the Metter location, and credits her natural ability to care for others as a result of being the oldest of four children.
“I have always had a mother-like demeanor. As a CMA, this helped me to be the best caregiver I could be. I had patients of all ages, from newborns getting their first round of immunizations to end-of-life hospice-bound patients. I was able to interact with a wide variety of people and enjoyed every minute,” Sumner stated.
Sumner says that basic office and customer service skills acquired from other jobs and college classes have positively contributed to her current role in public service. She also gives much credit to her spouse’s LEO career for her success and overall goal of giving back to the community.
“I’m thankful to know many local and neighboring agents, troopers, deputies and police officers thanks to my husband’s career in law enforcement, which makes my job a lot easier. Our family resides in Twin City, so being able to be more involved and interactive in the community, helping to keep residents safe, and getting to know all the wonderful people who surround us daily makes my heart happy. I genuinely love Emanuel County and want to give back in every way possible, and Twin City Police Department opened those doors for me,” She further commented.
Sumner says her fellow employees contribute in her job’s success, and states that the close relationships built with all Twin City commissioners, employees, and police officers is what she enjoys most about her position as city clerk.
“It is not an easy task keeping everyone happy and an entire city running smoothly, but everyone here works well together and gets the job done.”
Besides being the first smiling face citizens see when entering the Twin City Police Department, Sumner’s job as police and court clerk has many responsibilities. Day-to-day job duties of Sumner consist of light housekeeping, handling department mail, writing basic reports, proofing all citations, and answering calls and performing minor dispatch services for complaints not filtered through 9-1-1. She is also responsible for organizing monthly court dockets, working alongside the courtroom judge, entering final dispositions on all city citations and ordinances, reporting withdrawals and suspensions to DDS, assisting with JAG probation, as well as a multitude of other tasks.
Sumner is TAC certified and is required to complete annual municipal court clerk trainings through GCIC as well as online certificate trainings through the GCIC CourtWare System Trainings website. In addition, she also sits in on some officer trainings offered by other agencies, most needing to be renewed on a yearly basis.
Sumner was born in downtown Atlanta and grew up in Loganville, a place very similar to our neck of the woods, according to Sumner.
“Back then, Loganville was a small town, almost identical to Swainsboro. Everyone knew one another and very few ever left the city limits,” Sumner explained.
After graduating high school in 2000, Sumner flew the coup and ventured out on her own to explore the different cities within the state of Georgia. She landed in Swainsboro in 2003, fell in love with the local area and never left. Since relocating to Emanuel County, Sumner has been a local resident four years longer than being a resident of her own hometown. She also has deep family roots within the county on her maternal family’s side – her grandfather being Kenneth L. Harper of Garfield and her grandmother being Jo Anne Black Harper from Canoochee.
Jessica and her husband, Justin, celebrated 11 years as a couple in February and will celebrate 10 years of marriage in November. Together, they have three children and are the pet owners of three cats. Jessica is the secretary for the ECI Bulldog Booster Club. She enjoys the outdoors, traveling, gardening, ECI and UGA football, watching her sons play soccer during the fall, and spending time with extended family.
When asked for a public comment for the local readers, Sumner responded, “I would love to help break the stigma that is associated with law enforcement, even if it is just in our local area. I greet everyone with a smile and a “Good morning/afternoon,” and do everything in my power to make sure everyone is treated fairly. When I cannot solve an issue myself, I promptly involve someone who can. The officers serving Twin City are some of the most big-hearted people I have ever met, with families just like yours and mine. They only want to keep the city safe and go home at the end of each shift. They are faced with unthinkable challenges that most civilians will never have to endure, and they handle them with strength, grace, wisdom, and courage. I highly recommend getting out into the community and getting to know and support your local law enforcement officers.”