Roundtree makes official entry into the Richmond County sheriff race

Thursday, March 15, 2012 11:51 AM
Last updated Friday, March 16, 2012 3:02 PM
  • Follow Elections

Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree announced his formal entry into the race for sheriff Thursday from the front steps of Beulah Grove Baptist Church.

Back | Next
Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree pledged to work with residents to address the Augusta area's problems of crime, poverty and lack of education.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree pledged to work with residents to address the Augusta area's problems of crime, poverty and lack of education.


Roundtree said that if he were elected, his administration would be a partnership between law enforcement and residents to address the endemic problems of crime, poverty and lack of education that plague parts of Augusta.

“When we have more men standing on the corners rather than a classroom or a job site, then I say we are not doing enough,” he said. “That means we are failing.”

Roundtree arrived in front of the church on Poplar Street in a white limo with his parents, Rosa and Bobby Roundtree, who stood with a group of 30 supporters.

Before his speech, supporters passed out a document titled, “My Covenant with the Community,” a 10-point pledge that Roundtree said he would commit to during his first term.

Those promises included creating a Citizens Advisory Board and establishing a Volunteer Services Bureau, to solicit public input and allow for more community involvement with the sheriff’s office, to take advantage of the technologies associated with surveillance camera systems and software, and to collaborate better with the district attorney and the Richmond County school system.

He said he hopes to create a better, fairer administration.

“I want to be part of a judicial system that is fair and just to all people,” Roundtree said. “I want to demolish a system of justice where favoritism, and nepotism and financial status are more important than education and hard work and determination.”

Roundtree acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his past, but said he stood before those gathered as a changed man, ready to serve.

“I stand with the idea that no matter what imperfections others say may lie in me, no matter what flaws they say I may possess, that none of this will change the fact that there are more young men in prison than there are in college, that the graduation rate here in Augusta is less than 70 percent, that the violent crime rate among teens rises year after year, that officers are detached emotionally and disconnected physically from the neighborhoods they serve,” Roundtree said.

Although he has been campaigning in earnest for weeks, Roundtree is the second candidate to formally announce his candidacy. Sheriff’s Lt. Scott Peebles beat everyone to the punch Monday after Sheriff Ronnie Strength said he would retire.

Two other candidates will make their official announcements today.

Sheriff’s Lt. John Ivey, a 32-year veteran, will hold an event at 10 a.m. at the municipal building, and Lt. Ronnie Silas, Strength’s brother-in-law, will make his announcement at 12:30 p.m. at Democratic Party headquarters on Greene Street.

COMING SUNDAY

Sheriff Ronnie Strength talks about the highs and lows during his 11 years as Richmond County’s top cop, and The Augusta Chronicle profiles those who want to be the new sheriff in town.

Comments (43) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
allaboutlife
55
Points
allaboutlife 03/15/12 - 11:04 am
0
0
If the graduation rate is so

If the graduation rate is so low in Augusta, and the violent crime rate among teens is so high and continuing to rise, what exactly has he been doing during his tenure as "Chief Investigator" for the school board other than campaign for another job? If he cannot fix the problems of crime within the county's schools, what makes him think he has a chance of fixing anything within the county. The officers of Richmond County are constantly called upon to handle the job assigned to Roundtree and his personnel, as they refuse to do it. There is definitely a lack of leadership within the RCBOE.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 11:38 am
1
4
From a political strategy

From a political strategy perspective he's off to a good start. He admits past mistakes and apologizes. He goes to the black people to make his announcement in a county that is 54% black and only 39% white. He also advocates community policing. A concept that I and others have suggested often. Nice start.

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 03/15/12 - 11:58 am
6
1
Every candidate will say he

Every candidate will say he favors "community policing," but the devil is in the details. You can bet no debate moderator will grill them on just exactly what they intend to do regarding community policing; and certainly no reporter.

I am skeptical about this last paragraph:

He said his administration as sheriff would be a partnership between law enforcement and the citizens of Richmond County to address the endemic problems of crime, poverty and lack of education that plague parts of Augusta.

Looks like Roundtree has been listening to Deke's ribbon-cutting speeches and reading countyman's comments here.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/15/12 - 12:21 pm
9
2
The "ultimate" in community

The "ultimate" in community policing is in the concept of school resource police officers, these officers are assigned the same schools and students all year. How is THAT helping those statistics he quoted?

Little Lamb
49260
Points
Little Lamb 03/15/12 - 12:30 pm
3
1
OOOOOH, that is a GOOD one,

OOOOOH, that is a GOOD one, Mr. Rhodes. Thumbs up.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 12:37 pm
2
3
Austin said, "The "ultimate"

Austin said, "The "ultimate" in community policing is in the concept of school resource police officers, these officers are assigned the same schools and students all year. How is THAT helping those statistics he quoted?"

So you think a deputy driving by with the windows up on the road in front of the school every few hours would work better?

It's interesting that Peebles and Roundtree are BOTH promoting community policing in their opening announcements.

csraguy
2395
Points
csraguy 03/15/12 - 12:48 pm
9
0
More young men in prison than

More young men in prison than college - responsibility of parents and the school system, not the Sheriff.

Graduation rate is less than 70% - responsibility of the students, parents and the school system, not the Sheriff.

Violent crime has decreased in Richmond County each year for the past 7 years contradicting Roundtree's theories or conclusions.

Stating that the officers are detached both emotionally and physically is a slap in the face to the many fine members of the RCSO who work with the community on a daily basis, attend community functions and do their absolute best to make Augusta better.

We need an executive Law Enforcement Leader of a Sheriff's Office with a multi-million dollar budget who is detail oriented, a problem solver and properly educated, trained and prepared to take on the challenges. We need someone who knows the job responsibilities of the Sheriff’s Office and is prepared to take on those responsibilities.

While his past transgressions should be forgiven, they certainly play a major role in trust issues, accountability, work ethic, paying attention to details, etc. depending upon which of the many transgressions that were shown by the news from his file (and this does not even include the checking out of the female prisoner many times for no reason or “grateful mother”: http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2012/mar/13/wjbf-looks-sheriff-candidates-pers...

Then, when you add in the postings from Facebook and comments such as "get on this train or stand in front of it" it is clear that this is no leader or person who should be in authority over others. If you have such arrogance over the people whom you are asking to serve as a candidate then think of what kind of response you would receive from him if he were the Sheriff.

When you compare preparedness, experience, leadership qualities, training and education as well as trust and ethics, there is absolutely no comparison nor should there be any doubt that Richard Roundtree would not take Augusta progressively forward.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 12:58 pm
3
0
CSRAGuy, if you remember it

CSRAGuy, if you remember it was I who kept hitting on the hooker being signed out. Anyway, he says it's behind him. I don't know.

But about this community policing issue. Here is the outline. I realize it's a lot of work to supply the details. What Greenberg did in Charleston was personally go (on roller skates believe it or not) in the rough areas of the city DAILY. The black folks would talk to him often. What this outline does is emphasize that work has to be done on all levels with community policing. Maybe it will help somehow whoever the next Sheriff is.

Probably you guys have looked at it already, but it may prove interesting to the public because they need to consider THEIR part, too.

http://www.policing.com/articles/checklist.html

csraguy
2395
Points
csraguy 03/15/12 - 01:12 pm
5
0
River, agreed - There are

River, agreed - There are various models to look at and some would be trial and error. Just as you have school resource officers, you can also have neighborhood resource officers, ones who are responsible to their neighborhood, even when off duty to some extent such as attending all neighborhood meetings, etc. You also need to go door to door in high crime areas and get support from the many law abiding citizens who are there and let them know you will support them and not leave them - of course buy in from the commission will greatly be needed as the department is very short staffed, many positions have been cut and the jail can simply not hold minor offenders. Next, you need to involve technology, social media, etc. to keep people informed and to allow them to do the same for the department.

Community Policing is a great "catch phrase" but without an experienced leader and organized individual who is a problem solver and able to work within very tight budgets, that’s all it is, a catch phrase. Richard Roundtree can talk about it and the other various needs but he simply is not prepared for implementation. Deputies and Police Officers need a good leader who shows them support and steers them in the right direction not one who condemns them such as this and makes it clear to get on his train or get run over.

I feel confident that after any voter properly educates themself on the candidates, issues and who is properly prepared for the job that they will easily conclude as I and many others have that Richard is just not prepared for this. He is a nice guy, well spoken and serves his community which is appreciated. However, from his issues above it sounds as if he is much better suited working within the school system trying to keep youth out of trouble and headed in the right direction vs. being the head of any law enforcement agency.

double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/15/12 - 02:54 pm
0
3
Roundtree stated what would

Roundtree stated what would resonate with the voters. The education and the training differences I don't see both men college graduates and trained at the FBI training academy. Its basically down to who the people prefer.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 02:56 pm
3
0
I keep saying if someone

I keep saying if someone would interview that woman in prison and she wanted to snitch, Roundtree could be in big trouble yet. Assuming the statute of limitations isn't up and that was the law in effect at the time about those in control of others. It would be interesting what she says.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 03:17 pm
0
0
There's one other factor

There's one other factor about Roundtree signing the hooker out of jail on Sundays. That was under Strength. He knew about it or soon found out and didn't discipline Roundtree. I assume Peebles also knew. So this whole thing could be a wash as to who the public finds fault with.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 04:36 pm
1
0
We just had a little diatribe

We just had a little diatribe on the radio why community policing is a bad idea for Augusta. Never mind that to their credit both major candidates have said they intend to implement this policing technique. Why does this issue draw such negative emotion from some? Is it because the impetus came from the civilian community? Is it because it's an admission something is wrong?

The radio discussion was soooo revealing. He said there are areas too unsafe to have officers go among the people. Don’t we understand this is where officers are needed doing proactive prevention the most?

Remember 54% of the county population is black and they have most of the crime. That’s where the RCSO is supposed to be working most. It’s THEIR Sheriff’s Office. If we have areas of the city so unsafe that officers can’t even go then there’s no doubt we need some major changes in our policing techniques.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 03/15/12 - 04:47 pm
5
0
Breaking news... "Grateful

Breaking news... "Grateful Mother" will be endorsing Roundtree for sheriff.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/15/12 - 04:55 pm
0
1
I never said it was a bad

I never said it was a bad idea...I said some mixture of what we have now, and the community policing concept is needed. JEEBUS.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/15/12 - 04:59 pm
2
0
Yeah...we know Richard reads

Yeah...we know Richard reads these boards, don't we? HEY RICH !

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/15/12 - 05:09 pm
1
0
Oh, in your rebuttal on the

Oh, in your rebuttal on the air you said, you never said officers can't go in certain areas, just not on foot. I don't think you can do community policing driving by in a patrol car. I believe it was a given I was referring to you saying they couldn't go in on foot.

I also think I hit on the reason why Roundtree will never be questioned about getting the hooker out of jail on Sundays. There was a reason he was never punished at the time although I'm not sure what it was.

Heck, the more I think about all this, I may have to support one of the two other candidates. Heh.

Patty-P
3520
Points
Patty-P 03/15/12 - 08:21 pm
4
1
csraguy.....with all the

csraguy.....with all the 'catchphrases' being used so far in this campaign, which of the candidates is really willing and able to make the 'community policing' idea work for all concerned. In my opinion, there is more help going to the criminal element than for the law-abiding citizens. I know that for a FACT. I'm not convinced that community policing will help at all but to help criminals further cover up their empires. They already get tips on drugs dealers from citizens and do NOTHING. What will be different with community policing?

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/15/12 - 09:35 pm
0
0
All the jabs at Peebles for
Unpublished

All the jabs at Peebles for the vest and not a word about Roundtrees' White Stretched Limo?? LOL

countyman
21687
Points
countyman 03/15/12 - 09:34 pm
1
0
I don't expect the sheriff to

I don't expect the sheriff to have the details concerning the RCBOE, but if you bring the statement up at the press conference..

I think you should know the RC graduation rate was 78.2% in 2011.. My apologizes if the Augusta Chronicle quoted you wrong...

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/15/12 - 09:38 pm
0
0
River you are right about the
Unpublished

River you are right about the hooker thing though..... and now would be a good time to release all the details and cover ups (if any) eh? LOL...would make it interesting!!

csraguy
2395
Points
csraguy 03/15/12 - 10:01 pm
1
0
Patty, I understand your

Patty, I understand your frustration but policing is not like it was 5 years ago much less 20 years ago. The time, energy and manpower needed for surveillance, etc. for drug houses in order to make the case stick is very extensive. That being said, several drug cases are made weekly in Richmond County and many of the arrests do come from citizens leads. Sometimes those leads come from other criminals or people who have a vendetta against the person, but they are followed up on.

I have worked in 3 departments since 1991 and I do believe in many areas of community policing, holding people accountable for their actions and working with citizens, neighbors and students in order to remove criminals from our streets. The Sheriff's Office does do some community policing activities but in all reality even if they wanted to do full service pro-active community policing at this time it simply could not be effective do to the major manpower shortages.

You need ALL law abiding citizens to "buy in" to the community policing strategies and support proper funding. From there, you need to get "boots on the ground" and have the officers be able to spend time with citizens vs. having to go from call to call because they have calls pending. Mere continued police presence alone in any given area will reduce crime.

However, all of the actions of law enforcement are voided if they criminals continue to get plea bargains, weak sentences, early parole or removed from jails due to overcrowding. Cops can arrest but without cooperation from the judicial system they begin to allow the "small and petty" crimes to fester which often leads to bigger crimes for a better thrill. When the community, officers and courts work in conjunction to make it clear that crime will not be tolerated in this area, you will be able to easily see the effects of community policing very quickly. You can easily research the effects of greatly reduced crime in NYC or LA when various strategies were implemented. At the same time, you must ensure that UCR reporting is kept the same and that all crimes are in fact documented properly because it certainly is possible to change some crime stats (not many in the felony categories) but some.

So, to answer your question Patty, in my opinion one candidate has the experience, education, leadership skills and various other skills to implement change and improvements within the department and within the deputies and that is Scott Peebles. People in general will work far better for someone they trust, especially if that person is a true leader. Captain Peebles has proven over and over again that he can coordinate, direct and implement various strategies to remove criminals from our streets. Not only did he coordinate the deputies but did so in conjunction with various other local, state and federal agencies due to lack of manpower with the RCSO and to save tax payers dollars. These efforts have paid off with the removal of hundreds of guns from our streets, money confiscations used to help law enforcement, stolen items recovered and returned to owners, pounds of various drugs removed from our area and hundreds of criminals put behind bars. The best out of all of this is that because of Captain Peebles foresight to involve agencies such as the ATF and DEA, the majority of those arrested were charged and convicted federally. This saved local tax dollars and also ensures that the criminals must serve 85% of their sentence under federal guidelines before evening being eligible for parole.

There is only one candidate that we should trust with a 55 million dollar budget and over 700 employees to ensure that the department continues to progress in the right direction and that crime continues to be reduced in our area and that is RCSO Captain Scott Peebles.

click.clack.446
0
Points
click.clack.446 03/15/12 - 10:59 pm
1
3
@ austin what do you think

@ austin what do you think about Marshal Steve Smith running for the position of Sheriff of Richmond County, do you think he would make a good Sheriff and that he is qualified for the position?

and anyone else feel free to give an opinion

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/16/12 - 06:27 am
1
0
Having moved to the CSRA from

Having moved to the CSRA from an area plagued with high crime and violence but that utilized Community Policing, I fully support it. It's expensive and it's results are not immediate. The biggest challenge is having the fortitude to stick to the plan. Results may not be realized in one election term. It's a long term commitment to the community, not a quick fix. There will be critics who say "it cost $XX and we saw no decrease in crime, scrap it". Keeping politics out of the plan is a must. With all of that being sad, I call BS on the notion that some neighborhoods aren't safe enough to do it. My former town put cops on bicycles in those densely populated high crime areas. Their job was to make sure residents, especially youth, knew their names, knew they were there in support of the neighborhood and to establish trust. They attended community events, not to police them, but to become part of the community. Townhall meetings, community organizations, church fairs, charity events, you name it. And even after years of establishing those relationships, it may not decrease crime but it can and in my example is now paying off in the sense that when something does happen, people will speak up and help the police to solve crimes after the fact. Community police may not win over older adults and change their attitude toward law enforcement but befriending youth, especially over the long haul, works.

Austin Rhodes
3002
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/16/12 - 07:09 am
2
0
Martinez...not sure where you

Martinez...not sure where you are from...but take a look at the murder stats in Augusta (proper) for the last two years. Being on foot, in certain neighborhoods at certain times, alone, would be hideously dangerous for cops.

Like I have stated earlier, there is a hybrid of the community policing/current policy that is a better way than what we have now...but you are 100% correct when you say that it will not be like "throwing a switch".

Click-Clack...Steve Smith is a fine man...but he is a lot older than he looks, and I think it is time for the next generation to step up. There is a GREAT picture in the AC's feature on Sheriff Strength...from the late 80's I believe. He is holding a press conference following a big operation, and at his side are three officers...Steve Smith is one, and the other is Ron Peebles...Scott's DAD. (RIP)

On the topic of the Marshal...nothing at all against Steve, but in the interest of cost savings, I believe his position should be eliminated and his dept. rolled over into the Sheriff's dept. No need for the redundancy, and we can eliminate clerical and administrative costs as well. The men and women who work that dept are VITAL in what they do, but there is no need for a separate dept., in my humble opinion.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/16/12 - 07:49 am
1
0
My comment was not in support

My comment was not in support of any one candidate but in support of the comments about Community Policing. Where I moved from has consistently been ranked in the top 100 most dangerous cities in America for well over a decade, sometimes falling within the top 25. Augusta is smaller and based on the results I saw there, I believe it could be a valuable program here. Expensive yes. Long-term commitment yes. But a necessity for establishing relationships within the community that will aid in the protection and / or investigation of crime.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 08:15 am
5
0
Roundtree has already proven

Roundtree has already proven that he lacks the responsibility, judgment and humility to be an effective leader and law enforcement officer. How does one get fired for dereliction of duties and then be placed at the helm of the organization? Next, please.

Riverman1
94402
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 08:31 am
0
1
Willow, to be accurate,

Willow, to be accurate, Roundtree was not fired. They did nothing to punish him far as I know. He voluntarily took the other job. Makes me wonder about the whole bunch of them.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 08:50 am
0
0
I am NOT endorsing any of the
Unpublished

I am NOT endorsing any of the candidates but I think if you are going to look into the personal background of ONE candidate and his extramarital indiscretions then you have to look at ALL of the candidates and their extramarital indiscretions. Divorce records are public record. And before putting one on a pedestal and crucifying the other maybe there should be a little more investigating.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 08:48 am
0
0
And Austin is dead on about
Unpublished

And Austin is dead on about community policing. It all sounds good as a political platform but ask deputies with RCSO (or old APD) how many times they went into a community (after being called into that community for let's just say a domestic situation) and have the entire community come out and the officers had bottles, lawn furniture, and everything under the sun thrown at them, as well as, been spit on, cursed, etc. And I am not just referring to this being done to white officers in a predominantly black community. It is done to black and hispanic officers as well.

Back to Top
loading...
Search Augusta jobs