Capt. Scott Peebles announces run for Richmond County sheriff

EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles announces his plans to run for sheriff during a Monday news conference in front of the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.
Monday, March 12, 2012 10:08 AM
Last updated Thursday, March 15, 2012 3:01 PM
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Richmond County sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles said Monday he would move the agency toward more community policing if he is elected the county’s next sheriff.

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Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles announces his plans to run for sheriff during a Monday news conference in front of the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Richmond County sheriff's Capt. Scott Peebles announces his plans to run for sheriff during a Monday news conference in front of the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse.

Peebles, 40, who officially announced his campaign Monday to succeed retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength, said his plan will require retraining deputies to help them become more proactive, rather than reactive, in the community.

In a news conference on the steps of the Augusta-Richmond County Judicial Center and John H. Ruffin Jr. Courthouse, he also vowed to target the nuisance crimes that have sent the message that nobody, including police, cares about certain areas of the county.

So far, Peebles, who directs the sheriff’s office’s Criminal Investigation Division, is the only person to hold a news conference to announce a run for sheriff. His announcement came after Strength said Friday that he would not seek re-election.

Richmond County school Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree, a former sheriff’s investigator, recently announced on his Facebook page that he is a candidate. Strength’s brother-in-law, sheriff’s Lt. Robbie Silas, has also expressed interest.

Peebles, who has worked at the sheriff’s office since he was 19, said that the thought of stepping into Strength’s shoes is “terrifying” but that he is confident he would move the county in the right direction.

Strength recently listed operations Augusta Ink, Fox Hunt and Smoke Screen – all of which were designed and executed by Peebles and his team – as some of the highlights of his career.

“This agency has to move forward as it has been doing, and I don’t believe there are any other candidates who can take this agency in the direction it needs to go,” Peebles said after the announcement.

During his announcement Friday, Strength said that too often the position took him away from his family.

Peebles, who is already familiar with the long nights, missed holidays and endless phone calls, said although that is a concern, his family members decided together that this is the right move not only for them but also for all of Augusta.

“I’m as happy as I’ve ever been in my personal life, and I know this is going to put a huge strain on our family,” he said.

The Augusta native and his wife, Mandi, wed in December, and he has two daughters, ages 10 and 11.

Mandi Peebles said she is not concerned about the job taking her husband away.

“He’s always been very dedicated,” she said. “I’ll be right along with him.”

Richmond County sheriff’s policy says Peebles will have to take a leave of absence from his current position if he qualifies to run for sheriff in May.

He anticipates taking leave before May, but he has not decided when.

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Retired Army
17513
Points
Retired Army 03/12/12 - 11:02 am
1
1
Democrat or Republican?

Democrat or Republican?

Little Lamb
56914
Points
Little Lamb 03/12/12 - 11:17 am
1
0
Come on guys, it's breaking

Come on guys, it's breaking news. Bianca Cain Johnson did a good job to get the story posted so fast. It will no doubt be fleshed out as the day goes along. Here is my post from the other story, as it is a dead issue now:
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
The tradition in Richmond County elections up to now is that all sheriff candidates ran as Democrats. But in 2008, Ronnie Strength dodged a bullet in the July primary election. What was that bullet? Well, in May, 2008, Democratic party chairman Lowell Greenbaum escorted Jimmy Lee Sullivan into the board of elections office to register Sullivan to run against Ronnie Strength in the primary. The thinking was that Sullivan (black) would win in a cakewalk against Strength (white) because most of the white voters would be voting in the Republican primary because there were two or three real contests there. The trouble was that Sullivan did not have a required document — a certified copy of his high school diploma if I remember correctly.

Here are some links to the story:

Sandy Hodson

Sylvia Cooper

This year, 2012, we will have a sho ’nuff barn burner in the July Republican primary — the four-way race for U.S. Congressman. Most of white Augusta will be voting there, making a Democrat primary race difficult for Peeples.

Music Teacher
1
Points
Music Teacher 03/12/12 - 11:33 am
2
1
Remind me: If you are

Remind me: If you are neither Democrat nor Republican, what are you? Undeclared? Independent? If so, could you vote for anyone, or is it a straight Democratic or Republican or independent ticket only? I can't remember since I always vote for one party. I do know I've run into this problem before where I liked someone on the opposite party!! In fact, a few times I wanted to vote one party's president and one party's vice president!! Anyway it seems better for the community for local candidates to be voted on by all of their constituents no matter which party! They could still be sponsored by one party. We need to do something particularly to shake up the politicians at the higher levels who almost seem to believe that they're entitled to their position once obtained for the rest of their lives and who rest on their er, laurels!

Little Lamb
56914
Points
Little Lamb 03/12/12 - 11:45 am
2
0
Okay, here's the deal, Music

Okay, here's the deal, Music Teacher. If you choose to vote in July, you are voting in what is called a "party primary" election. Of course, to make the matter confusing, they throw some non-partisan stuff in there like the sales tax referendum and judicial elections. So when you go to the polls (or request your absentee ballot), you have to tell the elections people what kind of ballot you want. You must choose one of three acceptable answers: Democrat, Republican, or Non-partisan. If you want to vote for sheriff, you will have to declare Democrat or Republican because there will be no sheriff race on the Non-partisan ballot.

If you don't want to bother with party primaries, just show up in November and vote for one who came out of the primary as winner.

my.voice
6298
Points
my.voice 03/12/12 - 12:20 pm
2
0
Go Scott go! Not a better man

Go Scott go! Not a better man for the job!

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/12/12 - 12:50 pm
1
1
little lamb, that story about
Unpublished

little lamb, that story about sullivan and a certified copy of his diploma- isn't it true that he had his original diploma (which they wouldn't accept) rather than a certified copy? what do we think of that ruling?

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/12/12 - 12:51 pm
1
1
well, what did peebles say?
Unpublished

well, what did peebles say? anything?

csraguy
2794
Points
csraguy 03/12/12 - 12:57 pm
3
0
In my opinion, a Sheriff's

In my opinion, a Sheriff's election should be non-partisan. Either way, the Sheriff as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer will serve and protect all of the citizens.

That being said, the election for July will be partisan and in order to vote for Peebles, you will have to ask for the Democratic ballot.

Of all of the candidates, Peebles is by far the best for the office of Sheriff. From his 20 years with the RCSO to his education, law enforcement training, leadership skills, experience, etc. as well as his dedication to this community and community policing, he is the best person for the office. Peebles will take a good Sheriff’s Office and make it far better and that is exactly what this county needs.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/12/12 - 02:01 pm
2
3
A vote for Peebles is a vote

A vote for Peebles is a vote for continuous high crime and gang violence. When we currently have DA, Sheriff, and Peepbles that stated they only shoot and kill each other is a complete lack of leadership. Operation this and that was only a smoke screen crime is still high.

lifelongresident
1329
Points
lifelongresident 03/12/12 - 03:52 pm
0
0
dear capt. peebles, if
Unpublished

dear capt. peebles,

if elected would you be kind enuff to do what sheriff strength refuses to do, and that is use neighborhood or precent style policing. get the deputies out of the cars an into the communities by the way of beat patrols. this way the community will get to know the duputies and see them as people/human beings. the ole "open up a substation but don't man it" doesn't seem to be working in the areas that need police the most..like old savannah road, cherry tree crossing but i am sure hillcreek neighbor hood is fine huh sheriff strength....

csraguy
2794
Points
csraguy 03/12/12 - 04:25 pm
2
0
Double, violent crime has

Double, violent crime has declined the past 7 years in Augusta and burglaries have also dropped dramatically. (FBI Uniform Crime Report) The city does need far more policing, community policing and various strategies in place but how exactly does ANY Sheriff accomplish this when the commission has slashed the budget by millions, reduced the force by over 40 deputies in the past few years, deputies have taken pay cuts each year for the past 3 years leaving many vacancies within the department that can't even be filled not to mention the furlough days that all deputies and department employees are having to take which also greatly reduces manpower.

As for the comment you said each person made, that just simply is not accurate but any comment can be taken out of context. It is true however that many criminals do shoot and kill other criminals and unfortunately police are very limited in being able to prevent such incidents.

As for the operations which Peebles led along with many fine men and women of the Sheriff's Office, they have resulted in hundreds of criminals being removed from our streets - the majority of which have received federal prison time of around 5 years or more of which by law 85% must be served prior to being eligible for parole. Not only were hundreds arrested but many guns have been removed from the area, drugs were confiscated and many items have been returned to their rightful owners - bashing the many fine deputies who worked diligently to place these criminals behind bars for quite some time isn't how we should thank the fine men and women of the RCSO.

BuckeyeInGA
114
Points
BuckeyeInGA 03/12/12 - 04:31 pm
2
1
CSRAguy, I'm with you on

CSRAguy, I'm with you on preferring that the sheriff's office be non-partisan. I feel just as strongly about all local races. And thanks for addressing double_standard. You, CSRAguy, are right on the mark on every one of your points above. B

Riverman1
121295
Points
Riverman1 03/12/12 - 04:59 pm
3
0
I was glad to hear Peebles on

I was glad to hear Peebles on the radio news today say he wants to implement community policing and make some changes. It only took me and many others to get the idea across to stop the negativity from the RCSO concerning community policing. I wish you would have heard him saying community policing is about prevention, also. That's right out of our playbook. The way he is talking he is going to gain the support of many of us unless a far superior candidate steps up.

Riverman1
121295
Points
Riverman1 03/12/12 - 05:01 pm
1
0
So if Richmond County people

So if Richmond County people turn out to keep Columbia County's Lee Anderson from Congress they can't vote in the Democratic primary for Peebles. That gives Roundtree the advantage.

csraguy
2794
Points
csraguy 03/12/12 - 05:20 pm
0
0
River, you are correct in

River, you are correct in that - The Sheriff's election is extremely important and voting in the democratic primary is the only way to vote for the Sheriff's candidates. Peebles, as a graduate of FBI National Academy and Command College is very well versed in true community policing and from conversations is a big supporter of its full implementation.

Pu239
284
Points
Pu239 03/12/12 - 07:02 pm
0
0
I wonder if I could get
Unpublished

I wonder if I could get unbanned if I changed my handle to grateful mother...

fatboyhog
3132
Points
fatboyhog 03/12/12 - 07:20 pm
1
0
double_standard says, "A vote

double_standard says, "A vote for Peebles is a vote for continuous high crime and gang violence. When we currently have DA, Sheriff, and Peepbles that stated they only shoot and kill each other is a complete lack of leadership. Operation this and that was only a smoke screen crime is still high."

They only shoot and kill each other? What does that mean? Crime is still high because criminals are being let out on bond, not given harsh enough sentences, and being let out of prison because of overcrowding. The police can only do so much. They make arrests and get convictions. They are not responsible for limp wristed judges and lawmakers. Then you have communities that make thugs and punks heroes and the police the enemy. Add in the fact that today's society wants to blame everyone else for their station in life, you have a perfect storm. Since you don't support Peebles, who is your guy, and why?

Little Lamb
56914
Points
Little Lamb 03/12/12 - 07:47 pm
0
2
@csraguy — there is another

@csraguy — there is another way. Scott Peebles can come to his senses and qualify as a Republican candidate. That would assure him to be on the November ballot.

fatboyhog
3132
Points
fatboyhog 03/12/12 - 07:54 pm
0
1
I don't think a Republican

I don't think a Republican stands a chance in Richmond County. You pretty much have to have a "D" by your name if you want to be elected in R.C.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/12/12 - 11:01 pm
1
1
Csraguy if you think crime is

Csraguy if you think crime is down you don't watch the news. I know of three major homicides that have yet to be solved with no leads because your beloved Peebles won't go to the hood to ask questions because he could care less. At least I Silas has been on the streets with the people and not in front of a camera purportrating the work of state and federal officials.

countyman
23603
Points
countyman 03/12/12 - 11:19 pm
1
0
Doublestandard.. I wouldn't

Doublestandard.. I wouldn't use the news to determine the local crime rate.. They tend focus mostly on crime in Richmond County, and fall victim to the if it bleeds then it leads.. There's no way that's an accurate detail on crime in the metro area.

Crime is down overall in the county, and the rate declined in both 2010 and 2011.. Just because there's open homicides cases doesn't mean they haven't already been added to the total of murders...

csraguy
2794
Points
csraguy 03/13/12 - 12:04 am
1
0
Double, I do watch the news

Double, I do watch the news and read the paper daily. I will keep the conversation on a professional level and just state that not only has the news reported the decline in crime but it is easily viewable on the uniformed crime reports from the FBI for our area. You can not change felony case statistics nor FBI reporting. Now, if you are asking is crime too high; I believe as long as you have crime, especially violent crime, it is too high. However, that does not take away from the fact that violent crimes in our area have declined consistently over the past 7 years nor does it change the fact that burglaries have drastically decreased since the implementation of the burglary task force even with a reduction in force of over 40 personnel and furlough days greatly decreasing manpower.

As for crimes not being solved in various areas, there are many reasons but to suggest that any member of the RCSO does not actively attempt to solve crimes or that they could care less is irresponsible and downright wrong. There are many fine men and women who work diligently to solve each and every case placed in front of them. The facts and statistics show a clearly different story than what you are attempting to portray.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/13/12 - 12:00 am
0
1
Statistics can say whatever

Statistics can say whatever you want them to say. Cambridge, Woodlake, Farington, Meadowbrook, Pepperridge, are just a few neighborhoods I would like some of you to ride through and see what's really going on. I believe in Community Policing and neither the current sheriff nor Peebles visit these communities where taxpayers live and scared to leave their homes to find someone has broken into their home.

bjphysics
36
Points
bjphysics 03/13/12 - 02:08 am
0
0
Origin of “Sheriff”: Shire

Origin of “Sheriff”: Shire (village) + Reeve (local representative of the Kings authority), i.e., Shire-Reeve…Sheriff.

[Middle English, the representative of royal authority in a shire, from Old English scrgerfa : scr, shire + gerfa, reeve.]

Riverman1
121295
Points
Riverman1 03/13/12 - 04:28 am
0
0
I think the crime rate is

I think the crime rate is down somewhat the past few years, but the murder rate is horrific. Especially in the old city with its smallish population of about 45,000. In addition, with consolidated counties the crime rates are skewed because rural people don't have as much crime as true cities.

Little Lamb
56914
Points
Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 07:38 am
0
0
Well, for the most part,

Well, for the most part, they're just killing each other.

allaboutlife
55
Points
allaboutlife 03/13/12 - 08:13 am
0
0
By far the best and most

By far the best and most qualified candidate. Of the other two - one is running on the race card as he has no credentials nor platform, and the other, he only knows why he is running. I guess he thinks he can win by running on his sister's skirt tails. Apparently his brother in law won't back him, but his sister can't give up the power trip.

Little Lamb
56914
Points
Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 08:25 am
0
0
By mentioning skirt tails, is

By mentioning skirt tails, is allaboutlive talking about Silas? Well, Silas could assure himself a place on the November ballot by qualifying as a Republican candidate.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/13/12 - 09:18 am
0
0
For those of you bantering
Unpublished

For those of you bantering back and forth with statistics this, statistics that, here is a term for you in the form of an abbreviation ... D.T.P. If you KNOW what that abbreviation means then you would also KNOW that statistics are not factual due to this abbreviation. Please call it out if you know it. There are ways to manipulate crime statistics and this is just one way. Educate yourself people.

Austin Rhodes
3218
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/13/12 - 06:44 pm
3
1
I have written two in depth

I have written two in depth articles which cover every single murder within the Augusta city limits for calandar years 2010 and 2011...I can tell you for a FACT that the chances of being a murder victim IF you are "minding the law and your own business" are SLIM to NONE.

One caveat...you have to stay away from abusive/crazy family members/spouses. If you stay away from people who YOU KNOW are trouble...it is almost impossible (in Augusta) that you will be the victim of a murder.

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