Richard Roundtree asked for the community’s prayers and continued support Thursday as he was sworn in as sheriff of Richmond County.
“I pray we will savor this day because this day belongs to us,” Roundtree said to a crowd of county officials, law enforcement and members of the community outside the John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.
The crowd pulled out cellphones and cameras as Roundtree’s oath of office was administered by Superior Court Chief Judge Carlisle Overstreet. Afterward a murmur of “amens” and whispers of its being “a great day” were heard throughout the crowd.
Roundtree, the county’s first black sheriff, referred to the day as “a time for a new beginning” and asked law enforcement and others to become leaders and set an example.
Patrick Clayton, who will become chief deputy after Roundtree takes office in January, said he has watched Roundtree closely since he first shared his desire to become sheriff eight years ago.
Clayton, who is the chief of safety and security at Richmond County schools, served as Roundtree’s supervisor before his election.
“I was proud to see the sheriff sworn in today,” he said.
Rosa and Bobby Roundtree also expressed pride at their son’s accomplishments.
“We made it,” Bobby Roundtree said immediately after watching his son deliver a speech.
A free reception luncheon followed at Beulah Grove Baptist Church.
On Jan. 4, an Inaugural Charity Gala at the Legends Club on Washington Road will continue the celebration. The black-tie event will raise money for several local charities. It will include dining, dancing, silent and live auctions, and a reaffirmation of the oath of office.
Tickets for the January gala can be purchased at Roundtreeforsheriff.com or by calling (706) 495-6874.