Throughout his 15 years at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, Lt. Robbie Silas said he always chose to stay on the road.
The 44-year-old candidate for sheriff said being a road patrol deputy let him deal with Richmond County residents on a day-to-day basis and helped him really “know the streets.”
He said he was able to hear residents’ concerns and hopes for the future and believes this interaction will make him the right choice for sheriff.
About 60 people squeezed in to hear Silas announce his candidacy in front of Democratic Party headquarters Friday afternoon.
“I am aware that it won’t be easy filling the shoes of Sheriff (Ronnie) Strength,” he said, “but I do promise that if elected I will not disappoint you.
“I know that if elected sheriff, I won’t go in being the best, but I will definitely work hard every day to be one of the best sheriffs this community has ever had.”
One of Silas’ plans for the sheriff’s office is to rework the budget to allow for more deputies on the street.
“There are a lot of folks contemplating retirement. Those monies that are freed up, I’d like to see go to the road patrol and putting more people in the streets,” he said.
Another focus is on educating and protecting the county’s youth.
Silas said running for sheriff has been in the back of his mind since he was first hired at the sheriff’s office, and a special relationship with Strength has helped him see the day-to-day workings of the sheriff.
The candidate’s sister, Patti, married Strength 14 years ago.
“I know (the sheriff) would like to see me win.
“To me, may the best man win,” Silas said.
Since Strength announced a week ago that he would not seek re-election, four candidates have emerged.
Capt. Scott Peebles, of the Criminal Investigation Division, announced his plans to run Monday.
Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree, a former investigator at the sheriff’s office, announced Thursday.
Lt. John Ivey, a 32-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, made his announcement hours before Silas.