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Richmond Co. | Columbia Co. | Aiken Co. |

Roundtree seeks culture of change in new administration

ROUNDTREE'S TERM BEGINS

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 10:23 PM
Last updated Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013 1:48 AM
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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree spent the first full day of his administration implementing what he calls a “culture of change” within the sheriff’s office.

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Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree (right) speaks to people gathered during a promotion ceremony at the sheriff's office.  "We've got so many resources in this area, and we are going to try to utilize all of them," the new sheriff said Wednesday.  SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
SARA CALDWELL/STAFF
Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree (right) speaks to people gathered during a promotion ceremony at the sheriff's office. "We've got so many resources in this area, and we are going to try to utilize all of them," the new sheriff said Wednesday.

SLIDESHOW: Sheriff in Harrisburg

View more photos from Harrisburg

After spending some time Wednesday morning meeting and greeting staff members, Roundtree toured the county jail facility on Phinizy Road. Next, he held a promotions ceremony for 10 officers appointed to new positions or promoted from other positions within the force.

Roundtree said the informal ceremony, held in a conference room with the officers surrounded by friends and family, was part of a new way of doing business in order to create a more inclusive and open department.

“As I’ve said all along, this is a community effort,” Roundtree said. “That means including family in what we do.”

Roundtree said the centerpiece of his administration was going to be the creation of a Community Services Division, headed by newly promoted Capt. Wendy George.

The new division will include a Citizens Advisory Board and a volunteer services department, among other initiatives he said were designed to bring the sheriff’s office into a closer relationship with the public.

“We’ve got so many resources in this area, and we are going to try to utilize all of them,” he said. “This is how members of the community will get to be directly involved in this administration.”

Roundtree said each officer being promoted to positions of responsibility in his administration had expressed a desire to help him implement his vision for a better, community-oriented sheriff’s force.

That included his former opponent in the sheriff’s race, Scott Peebles, who was promoted to major in charge of criminal investigations. He said the two men ran a spirited campaign that was “never adversarial.”

Roundtree said that after the election was decided, he asked Peebles whether he wanted stay on with the new administration.

“Without hesitation, he said he wanted to be a part of it,” the sheriff said. “Our vision was about moving this agency forward. That’s it.”

Roundtree finished his day by attending part of an Augusta Commission meeting and taking a walking tour of the Harrisburg neighborhood before attending a community gathering at Eastview Community Center.

Roundtree said his goal is to build the best law enforcement agency in the state by the time his term of office is up four years from now. Then, if re-elected, he wants to elevate the office to one of the top agencies in the country.

“People will be coming to see what we are doing in Augusta,” he said. “This agency is going to be on the cutting edge of law enforcement in the nation.”

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Brad Owens
4859
Points
Brad Owens 01/03/13 - 04:12 am
4
5
Good start...

This Sheriff is going to surprise a lo of folks.

sand gnat
635
Points
sand gnat 01/03/13 - 07:17 am
8
1
Wondering

Snake oil and cotton candy or a real cop? Time will tell.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 01/03/13 - 08:03 am
9
4
Lots of Positive Activity

Sheriff Roundtree is generating a lot of positive activity. It's exciting to see the Sheriff walking among the people. It looks like he's off to a great start.

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/03/13 - 08:19 am
9
2
culture of change

Ok Sheriff Roundtree scores 2 points for touring the mid-level crime areas, promoting what he campaigned on & getting out in a few of the DOWNTOWN communities.

Another 2 points for some well deserved promotions (minus 1 or 2)

He should lose a point for being Chauffeur driven around town. Because of the air superiority it presented, he might as well have used the White Caddie he used to kick off his campaign.

But I'll pass this off for now as a likely for security and direction issue. Because he has to get acclimated to the LEO street beats, instead of just the neighborhood schools. So I will take it as a learning process.

I am waiting to see if he heads out to Golden Camp, Barton Village, Richmond Hill Road, Town & Country, Spanish Trace, Meadow Brook or some of the better communities like Goshen, Hephzibah and Blythe. He can't do it all, but it will show if he is pandering to his Voter base, or actually sincere of a equal enforcement, something which the South Side needs better coverage.

My running Score 5/0

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 01/03/13 - 08:14 am
5
2
Scott Peebles & Roundtree

(Roundtree) "He said the two men ran a spirited campaign that was “never adversarial.” .....asked Peebles whether he wanted stay on with the new administration. “Without hesitation, he said he wanted to be a part of it,” the sheriff said."

I and 100's have personally heard statements that directly contradict this remark.

However, if Sheriff Roundtree can live with and work with it so be it...

rebellious
21419
Points
rebellious 01/03/13 - 08:33 am
7
3
I am

cautiously optimistic. The proof will be in the pudding. A rocky start, IMO, by not talking to the press on the first murder under his tenure.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 08:47 am
11
7
I'd be more optimistic if we

I'd be more optimistic if we had seen his driver deliver him to a therapy session. His arrogance will be his downfall.

Truth Matters
7825
Points
Truth Matters 01/03/13 - 08:53 am
6
12
Know-it-alls

Sheriff Roundtree, don't do another thing before you check with willow bailey, rebellious (that name should tell you a lot), and open curtain to name a few.

It seems they know everything about sheriff-ing!

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 08:56 am
12
4
Would you like a referral as

Would you like a referral as well?

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 01/03/13 - 09:10 am
8
3
Driver Issue

Let’s look at this driver issue carefully. He has been sheriff for a couple of days. He went among the community and probably wanted a uniformed officer or two with him to emphasize the police presence more. If he is going to somewhere like that to meet the public, why wouldn’t the uniformed officer drive? It’s far too early to be slamming him for being chauffeured around.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 09:14 am
6
2
So, I can count on you to

So, I can count on you to send a memo out when it's okay:)

itsanotherday1
46989
Points
itsanotherday1 01/03/13 - 09:31 am
7
1
I don't care for swagger

I don't care for swagger either, but let's just see how it goes. He stepped in it with the New Year's day thing, but it will not be known how well he is doing until enough time has passed to see crime stats, etc. As I said before, I hope he is immensely successful, as the whole area will benefit.

soapy_725
43949
Points
soapy_725 01/03/13 - 09:33 am
0
1
We got the power now !!!
Unpublished

That is all that is involved in Black politics in ARC. We did not have the power and now we do. We don't care if another positive thing happens in ARC. We got the power now !! Culture of Change is just another Democratic watch word for revolution taken from someone else's mouth. More change we can believe in? Marx called profound cultural change a socialist revolution. Detroit of the South. Detroit of the South.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 01/03/13 - 09:41 am
6
0
No qualms from me on his

No qualms from me on his first couple days. Hoping his presence in some of the crime-ridden communities will help. He's got quite a few more stops to make though, as OpenCurtain mentioned above. Harrisburg is not the only area with problems to address. But I guess the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

Bulldog1
223
Points
Bulldog1 01/03/13 - 09:48 am
4
2
Change of culture

Mr. Roundtree spoke openly (as did others) about the need for a change of culture in the RCSD during the campaign. I am most pleased to see that he is apparently making good on his word. The concept of community policing is making significant changes in the effectiveness of agencies across the country and bringing this to Richmond County is a huge step forward. However, a dramatic change in an institution's culture cannot happen in a week or a month. Putting the infrastructure into place is only the first step. I hope that the community leadership in Augusta will step up and support the changes needed to insure the success of these plans.

Pops
12474
Points
Pops 01/03/13 - 09:52 am
5
1
The culture of change

needs to take place in some of the neighborhoods.

CobaltGeorge
170477
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/03/13 - 10:07 am
5
2
Who Knows

Maybe the cultural attitude of "No Hear" "No See" "No Speak" will slowly disappear.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 01/03/13 - 10:15 am
4
3
Willow, ha...Well, I guess I

Willow, ha...Well, I guess I can't keep you OR the radio commentator from saying Roundtree was using a driver the day after New Years, but I'd at least hope the RCSO people leaking the story would give him a while to see what he's up to. That's the overlooked story here.

Some "respected officers" (according to the radio guy) called the radio guy and told him Roundtree was using drivers, after he had been on the job for one day and had gone out to meet the people in Harrisburg. Heck, my head didn't stop hurting until late New Year's Day.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 10:28 am
4
4
Control and

Control and Silence....getting right in step with the new regime.

thewayitis
15
Points
thewayitis 01/03/13 - 10:32 am
5
3
Change is coming! I hope it

Change is coming! I hope it is contagious. The whole CSRA could use it.

Little Lamb
47986
Points
Little Lamb 01/03/13 - 11:42 am
4
2
Top?

From the story:

Roundtree said his goal is to build the best law enforcement agency in the state by the time his term of office is up four years from now. Then, if re-elected, he wants to elevate the office to one of the top agencies in the country.

How do you measure the best agency? How do you measure one of the top? Do they hold contests, beauty pageants, surveys? Who are the judges? How do you factor in disparities in demographics, population density, and other differences? Who keeps score?

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 10:54 am
5
2
Right, LL, but there's no

Right, LL, but there's no grandiose in it.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 01/03/13 - 11:10 am
4
3
Countyman will let us know

Countyman will let us know how he is doing.

jdsgirl63
3152
Points
jdsgirl63 01/03/13 - 11:15 am
6
0
It would be nice if Sheriff

It would be nice if Sheriff Roundtree can make some real change, we'll just have to wait and see. Everyone 'liked' Sheriff Strength, but nothing ever changed in Augusta under his command. Crime continued to get worse, people stay away from downtown because you can't count on police presence to keep the criminals away, and there was and is, an overall sense of desperation in Augusta (which I also blame on the Mayor and commissioners of this town).

As for becoming a "top" agency in the country within his first 4 years... well, set your sights on a humbler target Sheriff Roundtree, how about aiming to become a "top" agency in the CSRA to start. Take an example from a higher office, making promises that you can't or don't intend to keep won't gain you any brownie points w/the locals. You may still get re-elected, but your credibility will be shattered and your personal credibility has been taking a hit for years - you've got a lot to prove to this community. I truly hope the "culture of change" you speak of begins within you and you spread it among your department and this community.

Best of luck to you, I look forward to you making this city proud.

happychimer
19392
Points
happychimer 01/03/13 - 11:24 am
4
4
Richmond County has a good

Richmond County has a good sheriff. Remaining positive is the best way to go.

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 01/03/13 - 11:31 am
1
6
I think choosing Harrisburg

I think choosing Harrisburg was a excellent choice. The side of the neighborhood facing Summerville is pretty stable.

Laney Walker and Harrisburg are fighting to become the next Olde Town. The new Cookout restaurant coming to Walton Way, and the Walmart neighborhood market/other amenities will help transform Harrisburg.

GHSU owns a couple of parcels in the community, and the Kroc Center will bring new life to Broad street in the neighborhood. Can't forget about the $25 million Broad street project(TSplost) in the future which runs through Harrisburg before continuing on to the CBD.

I would like to see cameras in the urban core, and along the major commercial strips in the suburbs.

Riverman1
90676
Points
Riverman1 01/03/13 - 11:33 am
4
4
Psychic

Starting to think I'm psychic.

Little Lamb
47986
Points
Little Lamb 01/03/13 - 11:45 am
2
3
Roundabout

I hope they construct a roundabout or two in the upcoming Broad Street project countyman talked about above.

countyman
21299
Points
countyman 01/03/13 - 11:47 am
3
3
Jdsgirl... The local crime

Jdsgirl... The local crime rate has dropped every single year over the last three years.

The violent crime rate in the US is also much lower compared to decades ago, but we now have 24 hr media.

Willow Bailey
20603
Points
Willow Bailey 01/03/13 - 01:20 pm
4
3
"Starting to think I'm

"Starting to think I'm psychic." Or psycho. haha, River, got you!

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