Where Richmond County sheriff's candidates Richard Roundtree, Freddie Sanders stand on key issues



PARTY: Democrat

AGE: 43

FAMILY: Children Rashad and JaVarie


EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice; master’s in counseling and psychology; FBI National Academy graduate

ROUNDTREE ON COMMUNITY POLICING: Sees community policing as a strategy for getting residents actively involved in addressing the problems within their neighborhoods. He wants residents to work hand in hand with law enforcement to develop strategies to solve those problems. He said he will start with a Citizens Advisory Board and a citizens’ Volunteer Services Bureau.

ROUNDTREE ON CITIZENS ADVISORY BOARDS: Wants to establish a Citizens Advisory Board comprised of residents from throughout the county representing each district. He said the board will assist in ensuring the “integrity, effectiveness and efficiency” of the sheriff’s office. The board will also assist in helping the sheriff understand what is happening throughout the county as a whole.

ROUNDTREE ON PROMOTIONS AND HIRING: Plans to establish a recruitment and retention division within the department. He said this section would ensure his agency is “getting the best qualified applicants not from just this area but all over the country.” He also wants to form partnerships with colleges, universities, public school systems and other government agencies to promote the sheriff’s office.

ROUNDTREE ON PAY AND BENEFITS: Points to the current pay scale and long-term benefit packages as the main reason for turnover. He said he would meet frequently with county officials to develop packages that are competitive with similar-sized agencies. He said Richmond County has one of the few sheriff’s departments in Georgia that provides countywide law enforcement along with court and jail services.



PARTY: Republican

AGE: 62

FAMILY: Wife, Teresa; children, Ricky, Laurie and Lauren


EDUCATION: Augusta College, bachelor’s degree; Augusta Law School, Juris Doctor; DEA National Training Institute in Washington, D.C.

SANDERS ON COMMUNITY POLICING: Believes the sheriff will have to get more officers into the problem neighborhoods. To do this, he will assign two-officer cars to high crime areas and take a look at the current beat structure to see whether it can be improved. He also wants to give residents the option to file some police reports by phone, which will allow more deputies to be free to work their beats.

SANDERS ON CITIZENS ADVISORY BOARDS: Would follow the policy of sheriffs Charles Webster and Ronnie Strength by opposing the establishment of an advisory board. Sanders said he believe such organizations only create another level of bureaucracy between the residents and the sheriff. “Everybody in Richmond County will be on my advisory board,” he said.

SANDERS ON PROMOTIONS AND HIRING: Intends to increase efforts to recruit deputies “from all walks of life.” Sanders said he would examine the promotions process to ensure there is a fair and equitable system in place. He said all promotions will be based on “ability and merit.”

SANDERS ON PAY AND BENEFITS: Thinks there has been little attention paid to deputy pay and benefits. He intends to work with county commissioners to increase pay and provide better benefits and retirement options, which will help in recruiting and retaining officers. “I demand a lot of my men, and I am going to give them a lot in return,” he said.