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Richmond County Deputy of the Year Austin Shepherd fired

Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 2:21 PM
Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 6:11 AM
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A Richmond County deputy who was named Deputy of the Year last week has been fired.

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Few details were released about Austin Shepherd's termination.
Few details were released about Austin Shepherd's termination.

According to a statement released Tuesday, Deputy Austin Shepherd, a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was terminated after information surfaced that he engaged in activities that might be considered a violation of his oath of office. Details on the violation were not released but were said to have taken place before the current administration took office.

Police said Shepherd was chosen as Deputy of the Year because of his compassion and dedication in his daily duties.

In addition to the title, he was recognized by the sheriff’s office command staff, the mayor and the Augusta Commission as county Employee of the Month in September.

The honor came after the deputy discovered a family of four on Washington Road that had been living in their vehicle for a week. A woman who suffered mental problems had taken the vehicle with her 2-year-old and left her husband and 8-year-old son behind after destroying the boy’s clothing.

After Shepherd stopped her vehicle, the woman begged him to shoot her before she was taken into custody.

Shepherd and his wife bought clothes for the 8-year-old and raised $140 through donations from fellow officers to help the family. The deputy also worked with a friend who manages a motel so the family could have a room at a reduced rate.

The 19 felony arrests that Shepherd made in 2013 were another reason for the award, police said at the award ceremony.
Shepherd also spearheaded a fundraiser to give to the employees of a car wash at Walton Way and Crawford Avenue who have befriended deputies. The fundraiser resulted in $350 being divided among the car wash employees.

As part of his award, Shep­herd received a day off with pay, more than $500 in gift certificates donated by businesses, a sheriff’s office watch, a plaque and a letter from the sheriff.

Comments (72) Add comment
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teaparty
11313
Points
teaparty 12/31/13 - 03:54 pm
14
2
This smells
Unpublished

This smells

Riverman1
83813
Points
Riverman1 12/31/13 - 04:17 pm
13
1
I wonder what he did?

I wonder what he did?

Marinerman1
4846
Points
Marinerman1 12/31/13 - 04:27 pm
11
1
Talk About A 180...

I would agree -- something smells really bad.

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 12/31/13 - 04:43 pm
8
6
Somebody call Austin

Somebody call Austin Rhodes...RCSO problem has been reported!!!

Dixieman
14943
Points
Dixieman 12/31/13 - 06:35 pm
12
2
Hidden depths

What we know about what happened here: Precisely nothing. Let the story unfold rapidly please so we can all be informed.

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 12/31/13 - 07:07 pm
9
6
It's on Austin Rhodes

It's on Austin Rhodes Facebook page. I find it all hard to believe. Something is not right at that place.

IBeDogGone
3014
Points
IBeDogGone 12/31/13 - 08:16 pm
15
1
Sketchy Story

If he got a day with pay when he got his award someone at the department had to approve it. If this investigation was on going it seems to me they would have saved themselves the publicity and gone public before he ceremony. If he has been clean for 18 months his life is not over with a good support system he will be able to achieve his goals, maybe not as an officer but as a citizen that is productive in the community. Atleast he was not stealing county funds as several other officials are accused of doing and he was actually helping worthwhile causes.

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 10:16 pm
6
6
WOW!! All of this on a day

WOW!! All of this on a day where I ranted against Nazi road blocks. If he was deputy of the year, just how crooked are the runners up? Damn, there there are cops in Augusta right now thinking, "I finished 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) to this guy? If this is true, there is something seriously wrong with the RCSO, starting with the sheriff, who we all know has a checkered past. The whole hiring process is flawed. If the state of Georgia can take over a corrupt school system because of corruption, can the GBI take over the RCSO until it is straightened out? It's an idea to consider. Folks, we have reached the point where we can't tell who the good guys and the bad guys are anymore. Cops are now lowered to street gangs, except worse-they have badges and guns. I am going to propose something now--go ahead and comment--I can take it:
Is it any wonder Police Departments across the nation have such a negative standing with its citizens? Officers like this have no place on the force. If found guilty he has betrayed the public trust and should be terminated immediately. To solve the issue of police departments gone bad I would purpose the following....
All police officers should be required to personally purchase insurance to cover any financial settlements resulting from their breaking the law or police procedures. Insurance companies can be a powerful ally in policing the police. Just like all "at risk" policies, they can raise the premiums or deny coverage. If an officer can't afford the insurance or attain coverage there is no job for that person.
Law Enforcement Officers should also be subject to mandatory incarceration for violating any laws, on duty or off. Their incarceration should allow for no protective custody and any sentence should exceed the standard sentencing guidelines applied to non-LEO's.
Such should be the price one is willing to pay for seeking the power a police officer holds. Let's see who wants to serve if the stakes are so high.
I feel for the well intentioned LEO who does their job as they should yet have to suffer through working in such a negative culture, it has to take a toll on them.
We need a better caliber of people protecting and serving the people. This would do it.

whyme
1799
Points
whyme 12/31/13 - 10:41 pm
5
0
huh?

Underneath the officer's photo there is the following:
Austin Shepherd Tum quis nulput illa aute tetue

What does it mean and why is it there?

swcohen
586
Points
swcohen 12/31/13 - 11:06 pm
9
0
Lorem text

The text under the officer's photo is called Lorem. It's a meaningless, fake Latin that newspapers and publications use to fill out text space... for layout, so they'll know what the page will look like when finished. They go back later and add in real text and captions... or at least they're supposed to. AC's on a skeleton crew, no doubt, this New Year's Eve. Oops...

TrulyWorried
14165
Points
TrulyWorried 12/31/13 - 11:13 pm
9
1
Officer of the Year

G A D - you are putting the cart before the horse - like by a mile??
Give the whole situation a chance to develop and let them come up with what is REALLY going on - WAIT!!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ONE AND ALL - HANG IN THERE, IT HAS TO GET BETTER - CAN ONLY GO DOWNHILL FOR SO LONG!

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 11:25 pm
5
17
"Let them come up with". Your

"Let them come up with". Your words, not mine. Remember, the cops lie to the citizens every day in the course of their duties. If a person who wants to become a cop wasn't born to lie, they will teach him that in the police academy.

raul
4864
Points
raul 12/31/13 - 11:37 pm
5
0
@swcohen. Thanks. Learn

@swcohen. Thanks. Learn something everyday. I had done a cut and paste with the words in a google search but couldn't figure it out. Recalling what little Latin I remembered from 9th grade, it did look like a form of Latin.

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 11:38 pm
7
12
If it is because of a past

If it is because of a past with illegal drugs I AM SO HOPING AND PRAYING IT IS FOR A SMALL AMOUNT OF WEED! It would be such poetic justice. Progressive states out west have decriminalized it, while a RCSOfficer will kick you in the nuts and throw you in jail over one joint.

TrulyWorried
14165
Points
TrulyWorried 12/31/13 - 11:50 pm
6
2
to GAD

Figure of speech - that's all, but one can utilize it any way he/she pleases.
I try to be an eternal optimist and seek for the good in a person. The bad will come out by itself, if not here, then somewhere else - much later. THAT it will for certain.

SemperParatus
3225
Points
SemperParatus 12/31/13 - 11:52 pm
13
1
MIGHT? According to a

MIGHT? According to a statement released Tuesday, Deputy Austin Shepherd, a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was terminated after information surfaced that he engaged in activities that MIGHT be considered a violation of his oath of office. Say what? Either it is or it isn't!

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 12/31/13 - 11:59 pm
14
2
SemperParatus, quoting you:

SemperParatus, quoting you: "MIGHT? According to a statement released Tuesday, Deputy Austin Shepherd, a five-year veteran of the sheriff’s office, was terminated after information surfaced that he engaged in activities that MIGHT be considered a violation of his oath of office. Say what? Either it is or it isn't!"
Did you ever believe, even for one moment that RCSO would be straight up honest with the press or public? Think what you will about Sheriff Strength, but I bet if he were in charge, by now we would have a WHOLE LOT more of the story.

willie Lee
421
Points
willie Lee 01/01/14 - 12:44 am
4
15
Coming Home to Roost!
Unpublished

If this doesn't prove that the majority of the cops are pretty much low life's with major ego problems then nothing does. If the best they have to offer was this guy, then what about the rest. We've had what, six deputies in Augusta pleading to selling stuff to the inmates, a pedophile in Savannah, and our top cop going down for selling dope? If you believe what was reported, this guy made narcotics arrest while doing the same thing. I advocate raising the salaries of law enforcement. Then we would get quality people in the positions to protect the rights of individuals rather than the dregs of society.

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/01/14 - 01:17 am
5
14
Willie Lee, it is so much

Willie Lee, it is so much worse than that. In Utah the cops murdered Danielle Willard, 20 years old and about 95 pounds, a little bitty thing. The salt lake DA ruled the shooting "unjustified" and the cop was fired. Yet no charges have been filed and this murderer cop walks free today. West Valley Utah cops are even more corrupt than RCSO, IF that's possible. Even Utah's attorney general is being investigated right now and is certainly going to jail. Look up "John Swallow" if you don't believe me. Here's a story about poor Danielle:
http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/mobilemobileopinion/56864065-82/cowley-dete...

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/01/14 - 01:19 am
5
11
So, who came in last place

So, who came in last place for deputy of the year? What's he like?

The Mick
827
Points
The Mick 01/01/14 - 01:34 am
9
1
Just to clarify Scooby, my

Just to clarify Scooby, my comment was full of sarcasm that must not come across well on this web site. Let the facts come out before we hammer this man and a department as a whole.

sand gnat
510
Points
sand gnat 01/01/14 - 04:44 am
7
2
Wolves

Won't be long before the wolves will have full control of the hen house.
Know what I mean?

corgimom
32303
Points
corgimom 01/01/14 - 07:19 am
5
9
I think this demonstrates the

I think this demonstrates the integrity of the RCSO. It was a difficult thing for them to do, but they did the right thing.

And you have to have respect for the deputy, who admitted what he did.

Now Deputy Shepherd can move forward with his life and know that he did the right thing by admitting his wrongdoing. Now he can look at himself in the mirror.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/01/14 - 07:24 am
13
2
Wow

I see that Giantsallday wants to take the 8th amendment to the Constitution and urinate all over it!!

"Their incarceration should allow for no protective custody and any sentence should exceed the standard sentencing guidelines applied to non-LEO's."

Why Not? Since police officers aren't human beings!! They are supposed to be robots, uncapable of making mistakes!!

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/01/14 - 07:43 am
12
6
Willie lee and GAD

Do you two realize just how radical you are? Do you realize just how out-of-touch with reality you are? GOD HELP US!!! If people like you guys ran the world!!

This "Proves" that all police officers are corrupt, about like Dr. Kermit Gosnell proves all doctors are sick, twisted murderers!!!

This "Proves" all officers are corrupt, about like John Wayne Gacy proves all homosexuals are serial killers!!

This "Proves" all officers are corrupt, about like Dennis Rader (BTK) proves all County ordinance officers are serial killers!!

This "proves" all officers are corrupt, about like Anthony Weiner proves all liberals are sick, disgusting sexual perverts!!

Do any of these sound reasonable to you two? I thought liberals were suppose to be more diverse and understanding of situations, than to put EVERYONE, into one category!! I've heard this argument made during the gay marriage debate; that we can't put gay's all in the same category. Liberals, just proving they are NOT the true people of compassion and understanding!! But you guys, are more radical than most liberals!! It's clear you have a deep hatred for police, probably because of an arrest record!!

Honestly, you guys do your point no good by stereotyping everyone in the profession into this category, because of ONE, I repeat, ONE person being fired in this example!!

GiantsAllDay
9584
Points
GiantsAllDay 01/01/14 - 08:08 am
4
10
I never said all police

I never said all police officers were corrupt. There are a few good ones out there. By all indications you are one of them. What I am looking for is a report revealing:
What kind of drugs did he take?
What quantities?
How long since the last time he used?
Did he sell or distribute?
Did he throw people in jail for using the same drugs that he did?

BTW, when did I ever say I was liberal?

scoobynews
3854
Points
scoobynews 01/01/14 - 07:58 am
5
6
Mick

I didn't make the Austin comment because of your comment. I saw this story much earlier on Facebook and noticed AC didn't have as many "details" as AR had so I just pointed people in that direction if they needed more info. So no your sarcasm didn't pass my notice. I personally think RC sheriffs department is as corrupt as the rest of th county.

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/01/14 - 08:29 am
6
5
GAD

"I never said all police officers were corrupt."

But Willie Lee wrote "If this doesn't prove that the majority of the cops are pretty much low life's with major ego problems then nothing does."

And in response to that, you stated "Willie Lee, it is so much worse than that."

So, excuse me; you didn't say ALL are corrupt, but just the majority.

So, go back to my examples and in the place of the word ALL, use the MAJORITY.

Are the majority of doctors, murderers?
Are the majority of homosexual, serial killers?
Are the majority of County ordinances officers, serial killers?
Are the majority of liberals, sexual perverts?

Use some common sense man!! I have NO problem at all with you pointing out police misconduct, bringing attention to it. THAT, needs to happen. But when you or willlie lee or ANYONE, attempts to put us ALL or the MAJORITY, in that category; I will point out how absurd that is. FBI reports have shown that police corruption is around 2% of the total police force. Corruption, doesn't neccessarily including smoking weed on your off days!! THAT, would by hypocrisy at the highest level!! This deputy should be fired, absolutely!!

myfather15
55706
Points
myfather15 01/01/14 - 08:36 am
7
4
GAD

"BTW, when did I ever say I was liberal?"

I've heard this argument many times. My response is "By their fruits, ye shall know them."

Drug addicts, never want to admit their addicts.
Child molestors, don't like to all themselves child molestors.
Theives, do not like to be called theives.
Drunkards, don't like to call themselves drunkards.

Now, I'm abosolutely NOT comparing you or your beliefs to these type people. All I'm saying is that people don't like to be labeled something, but their actions and beliefs, usually place their ideology into one of the categories. Now, I realize one can be a fiscal conservative, and a social liberal. But in my OPINION, after seeing your posts for probably over a year, you would definately fall into the liberal category. But that is just my OPINION.

harley_52
23272
Points
harley_52 01/01/14 - 08:49 am
6
7
"Now, I realize one can be a fiscal conservative...

....and a social liberal."

It's really a contradiction in terms, though lots of liberals make that claim.

It means they're all for myriad social welfare programs as long as they are paid for with somebody else's money.

Liberal tax cheats, or liberals who whine about paying taxes, are the best example.

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