Public Safety Ordinance
Public Safety Ordinance
by Mike Cook
Coos County, Oregon Sheriff, retired
Submitted by The
Second Amendment Police Department
Originally published in OffGuard
started because I read a news article about a small city in Utah, by the name of
Virgin, that had adopted a pro-gun and public safety ordinance. The ordinance
was modeled after one adopted by Kennesaw, Georgia in 1982, which required the
head of every household to maintain a firearm with ammunition.
I remembered reading about Kennesaw and so I started doing research on what has
come to be known as the Kennesaw Ordinance. What I found was so impressive that
I decided to try and get the small city I live in to adopt this ordinance.
Kennesaw adopted this ordinance in 1982 in response to an anti-gun ordinance
adopted by Morton Grove, Illinois, banning all firearms in that city. The media
gave so much attention to Morton Grove that the city council in Kennesaw wanted
to make the opposite type of media splash. That is what happened.
What happened in Kennesaw because of this ordinance caused twenty five other
cities across America to adopt ordinances like the Kennesaw. What no one
expected to happen, because of this ordinance, was for the crime rate to almost
stop. Take burglary crimes, in 1981 Kennesaw had 11 burglaries per 1,000
residents, by 1998 they only had .243 burglaries per 1,000 residents. Kennesaw's
Historical Society president Robert Jones said in 1998 that the overall crime rate in Kennesaw had dropped by 89% in that city,
while the crime rate had only dropped by 10% in the rest of Georgia. I found
similar crime rate drops in all the cities who have adopted the Kennesaw
The other thing that happened in Kennesaw was that the population increased at a
great rate. In 1982 Kennesaw had around 5,000 population, by 1999 Kennesaw had
almost 21,000 people in the city. Cobb County Georgia Chamber of Commerce
president Bill Cooper said, "Kennesaw is home to more manufacturing businesses
than any other Cobb County city, Companies have said they want to be located in
conservative areas." He also said, " Businesses look at many factors when relocating, such as quality of
life, education, infrastructure and available work force." Kennesaw has all of
these things now.
So armed with this information I went to the city council in Coquille, Oregon
and asked them to consider the Kennesaw ordinance. Coquille is a small city
which has lost most of it's industry and population because of the near death of
the timber industry. This city also suffered the homicide of a young girl who
was last seen walking home from a friend's house, which had turned the city into
a place of fear and concern. I felt this type ordinance would help put the city
back on the right track. The council wouldn't look at the ordinance and made
statements about how such an ordinance would send the wrong message to the
people of America about this city.
Well, during my investigation of this ordinance I noted that no County had ever
adopted this type ordinance, so I went to the Coos County Commissioners with a
draft copy of the ordinance. I must say that most all of the cities who have
adopted this ordinance have no enforcement in the ordinance for non compliance.
There are provisions in the ordinance that people who can't legally own a firearm
or who have religious objections don't have to comply. The Coos County Commissioners have been very receptive to
this idea and Commissioner Whitty proposed the idea of passing a County
Resolution, this being the most appropriate county vehicle for a rule that has
no enforcement behind it.
It looks like Coos County may adopt this Resolution in the near future and will
be the first county in America to have such a great reaffirmation of the Second
Amendment to the Constitution and to do something positive to help fight crime.
I will keep you advised.
Bio-for Mike Cook
I was born and raised in Coos County Oregon. After
graduating from Bandon High School in 1965 I joined the Navy. While stationed at
The Great Lakes Naval Training Center I met and married my wife of 35 years in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I was then assigned to River Patrol Boats (PBR's) in Viet
Nam. I was discharged from the Navy in 1969 and returned to Coos County with My
wife and family. My wife Pat and I have raised three daughters in Coos County.
They have all married and we now have three Grandchildren, Two girls and one
Law Enforcement Career
I started my career in 1971 by joining the Coos County
Sheriff's Reserves. On June 1st, 1973 I was hired full time by the Sheriff. In
1976 I was promoted to Patrol Sergeant and in 1977 assigned additional duties as
the SWAT Team Leader. In 1979 I also assumed the duties of Range Master for the
Sheriff's Office. In 1982 I was assigned as Sergeant in Charge of
Investigations. I returned to criminal patrol in 1984. In 1992 I was appointed
Sheriff of Coos County to fill out the last two years of Sheriff Tarno's term as
he was elected to the state legislature. In 1994 I was elected to a four year
term as Sheriff. I retired January 1st, 1999.
Pro-Second Amendment Activities
I was fortunate in that my father-a world war two vet-
was a life long member of the Nation Rifle Association and avid shooter and
hunter. I started shooting and hunting almost from the time I could walk. My
father always told me the importance of our Constitution and freedom with
infuses on the right to keep and bear arms.
From my start in law enforcement to date I have made
this my personal crusade to protect the Second Amendment and the Constitution.
Over the years I took many oath's to do just that. After becoming Sheriff I was
asked to write a weekly article for a local paper by the editor Jim Bice. I have
used that not only to communicate with the people I served, but also to talk
about issues around the Second Amendment and gun rights. While serving as
Sheriff I was also honored by the National Rifle Association and was asked and
served on the Law Enforcement Committee for three years. After retirement I have
devoted more time to this crusade. I was honored and asked to continue to write
for the local paper which also lead to a contact by Mr. Ed Wolfe who worked at
Sierra Times which maintains a news and information web site, they print my
weekly articles in the editorials section of the web site. This has allowed me
to get my information out to the public over the years. I continue to crusade
for the freedom and rights we a free American's enjoy. (See Sierra Times archive
with Mike Cooks editorials at
NOTE: Contact Information Regarding Sheriff Mike's Report
County Commissioners Contact: