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Richmond County Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree hints at changes in administration

Volunteer division will be created

Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012 8:58 PM
Last updated Friday, Nov. 9, 2012 1:45 PM
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In the two days since he became the sheriff-elect of Richmond County, Richard Roundtree said, his phone hasn’t stopped ringing with calls of congratulations and words of advice.

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Richmond County Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree (right) shook hands with Wes Stallings on Election Night. Roundtree leaves Sunday for sheriff training.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/FILE
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/FILE
Richmond County Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree (right) shook hands with Wes Stallings on Election Night. Roundtree leaves Sunday for sheriff training.


E-mails have poured in and his Facebook account has been swamped with friend requests.

After being in campaign mode for months, Roundtree is facing two more months of work to prepare to take over the sheriff’s seat. He decided to take Wednes­day off and let the phone ring.

“I just took a day to myself to reflect,” he said Thursday. “Now it’s back to work. There is a lot to do.”

Roundtree leaves Sunday for a four-week training course for new sheriffs in Forsyth, Ga., so his main goal this week is to meet with Sheriff Ronnie Strength to begin discussing the transition. Strength has pledged to help in any way he can.

“I want everything to be in place by Dec. 20,” Round­tree said, referring to the day he will take his oath of office.

After he completes training, Roundtree said, he wants to focus on personnel changes. He plans to get a handle on the number of open jobs and any impending departures before making decisions about reshuffling positions or creating new ones.

Roundtree said he is aware that some officers in the senior staff intend to retire, either immediately or within the next several months, but he wasn’t ready to talk about who would make up his executive team come Jan. 1, when he officially takes over.

The only major change he intends to make is the creation of a Volunteer Services Division, which will administer a volunteer deputy program, a citizens advisory board and an Explorer program for youths.

“Will I be using existing personnel? Yes,” he said. “Will I be bringing in outside personnel? Yes.”

Strength said he would have an open door to his successor in the next two months and offered a bit of advice to the sheriff-elect.

“The first thing that I would do is to come in and meet the staff and make sure I had a good rapport with them,” he said. “He must place his confidence in the people who are doing the job now because you have to rely and depend on them.”

Strength said it was important for the two men to work together to ensure a smooth transition.

“When you come into the office, you have got to be successful because the community depends on it,” he said.

Roundtree said he plans to pause one more time to savor the moment before focusing full time on the responsibilities of becoming the county’s chief law enforcement officer.

That will be at a grand inauguration ball Jan. 4 at the Legends Club on Wash­ington Road – the site of Tues­day’s victory party.

“It will be a black-tie event,” he said, for the “community to celebrate and commemorate” the historic nature of his taking office. He is the first black sheriff in the county’s 230-year history.

“It is a big deal for the city,” he said.

Comments (28)

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Riverman1
70528
Points
Riverman1 11/08/12 - 10:48 pm
6
5

Careful

"That will be at a grand inauguration ball Jan. 4 at the Legends Club on Wash­ington Road – the site of Tues­day’s victory party."

The locale tells me a lot. Be careful, Mr. Roundtree, with all things.

willie7
824
Points
willie7 11/08/12 - 10:54 pm
7
1

No! No! NO! Tree, you don't

Unpublished

No! No! NO! Tree, you don't need a grand inauguration ball. Go in quiet and assess the office before making any changes.
Have your ball after the secong year.
Don't make make a lot of fanfare but concertrate on doing a great joband get to know your staff.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 11/09/12 - 02:37 am
6
2

He can celebrate. I'm sure it

He can celebrate. I'm sure it won't cost tax payers anything. Let him have his moment.

KSL
105748
Points
KSL 11/09/12 - 03:54 am
5
6

He hints now?

He was outspoken when he was campaigning. Except for visiting friends, I won't set foot in Richmond County. I will spend money to go out to eat with them, as well. That's it.

KSL
105748
Points
KSL 11/09/12 - 03:57 am
3
5

He hints now?

He was outspoken when he was campaigning. Except for visiting friends, I won't set foot in Richmond County. I will spend money to go out to eat with them, as well. That's it.

KSL
105748
Points
KSL 11/09/12 - 03:59 am
4
4

Hiring the TEE Center?

First customer? First paying customer?

my.voice
4194
Points
my.voice 11/09/12 - 07:57 am
10
2

Give the man a chance.

Gracious folks, give the man a chance. He worked hard for this, and while formal balls or dances aren't my thing, what's it going to hurt? As for the transition, he's doing what ANY new Sherrif would do. He might just have some good ideas.

seenitB4
72600
Points
seenitB4 11/09/12 - 07:58 am
6
5

Mr Roundtree

Please keep freddie & ronnie as your bestest friends ...you will need them now more than ever.......the white guys standing beside ya now...naaah not so much..:)
You don't have to thank me or river for this info.....we want you to clean up Richmond county...

Riverman1
70528
Points
Riverman1 11/09/12 - 08:16 am
6
6

SeenIt is Right

SeenIt is right. Freddie Sanders and Ronnie Strength are honest and have enormous knowlege of the RCSO and city. They can help and are willing. I'd certainly use them. Be careful with others who have their own agenda.

Ideally, Tree can make the community policing technique work like no other could. I will again point out Charleston hired a black Chief of Police for the city and he worked wonders going among the people daily. Let's be positive.

seenitB4
72600
Points
seenitB4 11/09/12 - 08:18 am
4
5

Actually RM

I think Tree should have invited you to the Legends party....you helped him in a round about way....& I'm sure he knows what I'm talking about.....:)

seenitB4
72600
Points
seenitB4 11/09/12 - 08:24 am
3
5

Yeh...coulda woulda shoulda

We could have seen RMs picture shaking hands with Tree at the Legend.......maybe next time river....there will always be a next time...☺

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/09/12 - 08:53 am
10
1

I am in the 1/3 that lost

Mr. Roundtree is going to be our new sheriff, like him or not at this point, for his past mistakes.

Therefore, I intend to fairly judge him henceforth based only what he does while he is our first Black Sheriff, that was elected for 1 term.

Who knows, he might surprise the hell out of all of us.

razordog
195
Points
razordog 11/09/12 - 09:48 am
5
1

And so it starts...

We all knew there would be some who would be leaving the RCSD at the beginning of the year, either by their own choice or forced out. Let's hope that Tree does his best to keep the one's that REALLY know how to run the dept.

itsanotherday1
34609
Points
itsanotherday1 11/09/12 - 10:28 am
7
1

My thoughts too

"Mr. Roundtree is going to be our new sheriff, like him or not at this point, for his past mistakes.

Therefore, I intend to fairly judge him henceforth based only what he does while he is our first Black Sheriff, that was elected for 1 term.

Who knows, he might surprise the hell out of all of us."

It was OK to make judgments about his qualifications when he ran, but he won. Now that he is there, judge him on his accomplishments going forward.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 11/09/12 - 10:50 am
4
1

In all honesty

I continue to support the RCSO, and the next few months promise to be Historic.

But, I know of one long term deputy that should be counseled.

There are a bunch of Neighborhood Watch Team members that would quickly agree with stories of his repeated failings.

beboisme
425
Points
beboisme 11/09/12 - 11:08 am
2
7

No doubt Richard has some

No doubt Richard has some axes to grind as the reprimands he received over the years came from someone other than the Sheriff. Most times when a supervisor take a personal dislike for someone they won't rest until the employee is out of work. My advise for Richard would be to leave in place those who worked so hard to have him demoted to where they knew it would be unbarable for Richard to continue his career with the department. Observe and listen Richard as everything will come full circle and you'll never have to be a party to those who hurt you so badly when their time comes to exit the building. Besides all of that leaving the department when you did was an excellent move. You didn't know it then but look what a little time away from the Sheriffs department has done for you. Had you stayed and become the "whipping boy" you would not be basking in the limelight now. I believe this is what is referred to as Karma. Keep everything about your position clean and above board and you'll survive what is ahead of you." Loose lips sink ships" still means alot in todays world.

scratchthesurface
26
Points
scratchthesurface 11/09/12 - 11:13 am
0
1

nanowerx, isn't that what the

Unpublished

nanowerx, isn't that what the "Good Ole Boys" do when they get in office (hire their buddies)....stop being a hypocrite !

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/09/12 - 11:37 am
0
1

Wow KSL

Unpublished

the Dollar Generals are crying already.

loblolly
469
Points
loblolly 11/09/12 - 11:38 am
0
0

Perhaps

Unpublished

He can hire Jimmy V. to supervise the evidence room.

Mr. Thackeray
761
Points
Mr. Thackeray 11/09/12 - 01:37 pm
2
3

Never heard of a grand

Never heard of a grand inauguration for a sheriff...interesting. Good luck Richmond County!

rebellious
18707
Points
rebellious 11/09/12 - 02:23 pm
5
1

Agree

with several posters here. I dug a hole and buried my hatchet. Mr. Roundtree is the new sheriff of Richmond County. As a resident, I would be stupid to wish him anything but success, that old addage about cutting off your nose to spite your face thing. So, while I will not be in black tie and tails, I support him in his efforts to make Richmond County a safer place for all of us.

AutumnLeaves
4712
Points
AutumnLeaves 11/09/12 - 04:19 pm
0
3

Why?

Why, if Richard Roundtree is allegedly so "well-qualified", is it necessary for him to go to Sheriff's Training? Would Peebles or Sanders have had to go if either one of them had won? Can someone who is knowledgeable about this let us know that please? I simply don't know and would like it clarified please.

overburdened_taxpayer
116
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 11/09/12 - 05:26 pm
4
0

Sheriff's Training

Yes, even if you have law enforcement experience you still have to go to Sheriff's Training as a first time Sheriff. They give a new Sheriff unique training they will need in that position. Peebles or Sanders would have had to attend also.

rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 11/09/12 - 06:12 pm
0
0

Just wondering?

Unpublished

How many white people are going to lose their jobs?

Riverman1
70528
Points
Riverman1 11/09/12 - 06:33 pm
2
0

Again, Freddie Sanders,

Again, Freddie Sanders, coming forward on what must have been a painful night after his loss, to congratulate Tree and offer his help was absolutely nothing but classy. I'm sure Tree appreciates such REAL gestures from people seeking nothing.

SeenIt, I was thanked and I like to think I'm like Sanders (although I could never equal Freddie) in not trying to get anything, but better law enforcement for the county. Now we all need to buy Tree a big, Walking Tall Stick, to clean up and stop crime.

jwarner6
63
Points
jwarner6 11/09/12 - 07:06 pm
2
1

Optics are poor

The man announces his run for sheriff arriving in a limousine and now he is planning an Inaugural Ball. Does he think he has run the presidency?

Riverman1
70528
Points
Riverman1 11/09/12 - 07:23 pm
2
1

Jwarner6, only if he shows up

Jwarner6, only if he shows up with a tophat.

beboisme
425
Points
beboisme 11/10/12 - 09:26 am
3
0

That is funny Riverman, but

That is funny Riverman, but seriously let the man have his day. If he and supporters want balloons, ice cream, cake and a clown with multi-color hair so be it. Everyone likes a little fanfare from time to time and this is no different. The party will be over soon enough and Richard will have plenty to do to set the wheels in motion and get this town in shape.

triscuit
2381
Points
triscuit 11/10/12 - 10:06 am
1
1

Is the Legends Club owned by

Is the Legends Club owned by Lewis Blanchard?

seenitB4
72600
Points
seenitB4 11/10/12 - 10:06 am
1
0

OOOh how I had to bite my tongue on this...

SeenIt, I was thanked and I like to think I'm like Sanders (although I could never equal Freddie)

heh heh...you are funnnnie!

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