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
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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.

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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
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Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 09:59 am
0
0
Community policing is a whole

Community policing is a whole book of techniques and begins long before officers start walking around the neighborhoods. It's a process and coordination with groups in the neighborhood is an integral part. Read the guidelines I posted previously. It has worked well in other cities with large black populations to decrease crime dramatically. It would work here, too.

I don't get the resistance. Most of our crime is in black and mixed communities. These people are the majority of county residents and deserve efforts to improve their safety. Also, remember community policing empowers officers to make decisions of all kinds. The officer gains respect. He is not simply a guy who comes out and throws the crazy wino in the back of the car and speeds away.

AjavaCafe
37
Points
AjavaCafe 03/16/12 - 10:01 am
0
0
If memory serves me

If memory serves me correctly, he was demoted from detective sergeant to detective and then he took the job with RCBOE. So he was disciplined, some question whether or not the punishment fit the crime. Not sure we have really heard the whole story on the issues of the case files and swat gear being left in the apartment.

Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 10:02 am
0
0
EyemaeNo, if things are as

EyemaeNo, if things are as bad as you and Austin say with things being thrown at deputies and them being spit on and cursed, I'd say we have a major problem in August, Georgia and had better start figuring out how to make that better.

Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 10:06 am
0
0
AjavaCafe, I don't remember

AjavaCafe, I don't remember him being punished at all. My comment back then was he must know where the bodies are buried. Again, I see no official suggesting the hooker in prison should be interviewed about the matter. I think the whole issue is too hot for all of them. I'd like to see everything concerned with that matter be investigated. Plus, she was definitiely in Roundtree's control as a prisoner. Lots of factors here.

itsanotherday1
43131
Points
itsanotherday1 03/16/12 - 10:07 am
0
0
Austin said: "Being on foot,

Austin said: "Being on foot, in certain neighborhoods at certain times, alone, would be hideously dangerous for cops."

Really? I don't ask that in sarcasm.

1. Do we really have areas in the CSRA that are THAT dangerous? That sounds more like Falluja.

2. If areas ARE that dangerous; all the more reason for an active police presence to root out the punks, thugs, and bangers. If the law abiding citizens in those areas had a better relationship with the Po-Po, they are more likely to cooperate in helping them do the rooting.

avidreader
3215
Points
avidreader 03/16/12 - 10:24 am
0
0
Why the limo? It seems to me

Why the limo? It seems to me that any man, or woman, wanting this job would begin by portraying humility and down-home values. And, aren't there any qualified women out there who are interested in the job?

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 10:29 am
0
0
Riverman1 Roundtree WAS
Unpublished

Riverman1 Roundtree WAS demoted from Sgt to Investigator AND the inmate WAS polygraphed and showed no deception when asked about whether she had sex with Roundtree. And it is my knowledge that she was polygraphed by Peebles.

There are no saints in this election. And the best thing that every single one of them could do for themselves is come out and come clean before the mud starts slinging instead of sitting around hoping that people keep their mouth shut.

Martinez
154
Points
Martinez 03/16/12 - 10:35 am
0
0
Only showing up in response

Only showing up in response to calls is part of the problem. To say a neighborhood is too dangerous for police is to give up altogether. You have to look at how to make it less dangerous for the police. You have to build relationships that will lessen the likelihood of bottles being thrown. The criminals are not going to extend that olive branch to police but community policing allows a familiar and constant resource to do so on behalf of all police.

csraguy
2274
Points
csraguy 03/16/12 - 10:42 am
2
0
Martinez makes some very good

Martinez makes some very good points on community policing - it does work when properly funded, staffed and followed through on.

River, Roundtree was disciplined numerous times, including his last major incident which resulted in suspension and demotion followed by the "Grateful mother" comments and his resignation.

EyeMaeNo, I agree, no candidate is perfect. That being said, the only information I have seen posted, on any news article or from any other candidate is directly related to the job. I am unaware of other indiscretions of the candidates you are referring to off duty but everyone is fully aware of Roundtree having sexual relations with various individuals while on duty and being paid by the taxpayers - that is a major issue for everything from theft of taxpayers time to sexual harassment liability.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 10:48 am
0
0
The old Augusta Police
Unpublished

The old Augusta Police Department had a contract with HUD that was fully funded by Housing and Urban Development. It put off-duty officers into the areas and paid them a flat rate per hour (I cannot remember if the officers had 8 or 12 hour shifts). Most of the officers who worked this extra duty were also the officers who rode a beat in that particular area they were assigned to. It worked well and it also supplemented the pay of these officers.

IMO the worst thing that ever happened to our area was consolidation and that to this day instead of having an elected offical in charge (i.e., a Sheriff) there should be a Chief's position and it should be an appointed position. That would get people from all over the United States and gives us fresh people to work with. People from the outside with possibly more knowledge of how to deal with the problems we are being plagued with in Augusta.

I don't pretend to have any answers but what we have is broke and not functioning properly. You cannot just blame funding and loss of deputies for all of the issues.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 10:54 am
0
0
Eyemaeno, If you are

Eyemaeno, If you are addressing my comment; I am not placing anyone on a pedestal, nor am I discussing divorce. There is a HUGE difference in personal business and county business.

Roundtree's "indiscretion" crossed over the line into county business & taxpayer business. Having an affair, though wrong, is one thing, and checking your affair out of the jail cell is quite another. He risked investigations, verdicts, and lawsuits.

Doesn't sound like the makings of a Sheriff that a city/county could be proud of or could trust to manage, lead, and carry out the duties of the office. I see no way that he or others should expect people to just gloss over this pertinent fact. He can be forgiven, but the consequences of his poor choices should not be removed, unless one is asking for more of the same behavior.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 10:55 am
0
0
CSRAguy you made it clear
Unpublished

CSRAguy you made it clear that you have worked for 3 different departments since 1991 so I do not know if that means you worked APD, RCSO and now CCSO or some other order, or outside of Augusta, etc. But trust me when I say that there are other candidates who had extramarital incidents while being ON THE JOB (or on the taxpayers dime). I am not calling out names because they know who they are. I'm just saying that the time is now to come clean before it does hit the media by another candidate(s) who know the truth fully. Just because you were not written up does not mean it did not happen. It just means that there is not a paper trail in your personnel file.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 10:57 am
0
0
River, there are as many

River, there are as many different ways to fire your employee as there are to leave your lover... "Just drop off the keys, Lee... No need to discuss much, Just hop on the bus, Gus, and set yourself free."

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 11:01 am
0
0
Willow, I have no idea what
Unpublished

Willow, I have no idea what you are referring to. If I am speaking to someone in particular I will use their name. All you have to do is look at any comment I have ever made on here to know that.

AGAIN. I do not support ANY of the candidates. I just believe in honesty and fairness.

Although I have family and friends who will be and are affected by the election, I am a "border jumper" and live across the county line. So the WHO becomes Sheriff of RCSO has no impact personally.

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 11:16 am
0
0
Eyemaeno, It is not an

Eyemaeno, It is not an accusation, it is a response. I am referring to my 9:15 a.m. post where I brought up Roundtree's indiscretion and you posted after me...

@Eyemaeno: "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."

I returned with: "Eyemaeno, If you are addressing my comment; I am not placing anyone on a pedestal, nor am I discussing divorce. There is a HUGE difference in personal business and county business.
Roundtree's "indiscretion" crossed over the line into county business & taxpayer business. Having an affair, though wrong, is one thing, and checking your affair out of the jail cell is quite another. He risked investigations, verdicts, and lawsuits.
Doesn't sound like the makings of a Sheriff that a city/county could be proud of or could trust to manage, lead, and carry out the duties of the office. I see no way that he or others should expect people to just gloss over this pertinent fact. He can be forgiven, but the consequences of his poor choices should not be removed, unless one is asking for more of the same behavior.”

Willow Bailey
20580
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 11:28 am
0
0
If I could ask Mr. Roundtree,

If I could ask Mr. Roundtree, just one question, this would be it.

Mr. Roundtree, those imperfections that you mention, are more aptly described as major character defects. Sir, you say that you are a changed man and we all know from our own struggles just how difficult change is. If what you say is true, would you describe exactly what steps you took to become changed?

Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 11:43 am
0
0
The whole incident with

The whole incident with Roundtree is troublesome. I appreciate the reminders that he did receive some discipline. But I think the bottom line is the whole thing was whitewashed. It's also interesting the Peebles gave the hooker the lie detector test. Where was Ivey?

There's another factor, the outrage at Roundtree signing the hooker out on Sundays was initiated in these very comments under previous articles. There was a casual mention in news articles of him taking her for consultations and I immediately saw the red flags and brought it up here. No one in the RCSO did anything until the public outcry grew. But I am pleasantly surprised to see she was given a lie detector test even if I am puzzled why Peebles did it and not Ivey.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 03/16/12 - 11:54 am
0
0
I agree with Willows
Unpublished

I agree with Willows assessment on character flaws. Those exhibited in the past by Roundtree were major. He also showed a shocking lack of organizational skills and paperwork integrity. Both of which are essential for the top law officer.
Mr. Roundtree comes to his press conference in a white limo? That sort of bling is not "sheriff like". More of something you'd see from a celebrity.
Lasty, taking unfair and unwarranted pot shots at Sheriff Ronnie Strength is just wrong and downright tacky. Ronnie Strength has served this community honestly and professionally his entire career. The incoming sheriff has some mighty big shoes to fill.

EyeMaeNo
20
Points
EyeMaeNo 03/16/12 - 12:56 pm
0
0
Riverman1 more than likely it
Unpublished

Riverman1 more than likely it is because Lt. Ivey's main focus is pre-employment polygraphs and Peebles main focus was criminal polygraphs. All of the certified polygraphers attend the same school and receive the same education but like in any field there is expertise on one area over another. It is not that either one is more qualified than the other in administering the exam.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 02:02 pm
0
0
csraguy....I appreciate your

csraguy....I appreciate your response...as far as how policing was 5 years ago, in my opinion it was just as bad then as it is now. There are some very good officers on board but there are just as many that are slack and 'down with the program' when it comes to criminal activity. I'm sorry but I just have to tell it like it is. If you are a person who normally works IN the office and not OUT in the streets then you couldn't possibly know exactly how officers handle situations. I KNOW as I've said a million times before that there are officers who have caught drug dealers with supply in hand and do not make an arrest. As a person from the outside looking in, I see that as being corrupt and being more of a problem than the dealer himself. That is case #1, I cannot go on to tell you of all the other instances where people are caught red-handed and are not dealt with by officers for one lame reason or the next. Imagine fast-forwarding ahead five years/10 years of this and you have multiplied your problems with drugs and crime. This may be part of the reason why young criminals have no fear of consequence in the first place. What will community policing do to help with an already 'enabling' task force? You've got one or two in the community that wants it to stop, and the rest don't care or are involved, and a few community police officers that are just going to go with the flow. Either the community deals with the issues as the law suggests, or why even have a police department. (And again, I'm not speaking of the GOOD officers on board at the RCPD, just the ones that don't follow through properly or at all).

louiemcman
64
Points
louiemcman 03/16/12 - 03:19 pm
0
0
Community policing huh, I'm

Community policing huh, I'm ready just send the criminals into my community.......

211lover
6
Points
211lover 03/16/12 - 03:55 pm
0
0
“I want to be part of a
Unpublished

“I want to be part of a judicial system that is fair and just to all people,”

just so you know.. the sheriff has no say so in the court system and if a judge wants to let his nephew off on a rape/murder then it will be!

Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 04:02 pm
0
0
I'm really pleasantly

I'm really pleasantly surprised that Austin is NOW starting to embrace moving towards community policing with a "hybrid" concept or whatever he calls it. Before it was none of us community policing advocates had any idea what was going on.

211lover
6
Points
211lover 03/16/12 - 04:04 pm
0
0
actually i would like to see
Unpublished

actually i would like to see an ex convict become sheriff, then we will start to see the REAL criminals, the wealthy and influential behind bars, who cares about the crackheads, stop wasting our tax dollars on JUNK.. start nabbing these people that perpetrate crimes against people that can not afford to fight back! Charlie Sheen and Lindsey Lohan get arrested for cocaine possession, they get rehab, a guy down on walker street gets nabbed for the same thing.. he gets 20 years in prison for distribution. Our society is really fair alright.. you talk a good game bud.. that is ALL it is!!

raul
4868
Points
raul 03/16/12 - 06:27 pm
0
0
@Riverman, Wasn't Lt.

@Riverman, Wasn't Lt. Rountree demoted to Sgt and suspended a few days which prompted him to go to the RCBOE job? Maybe I'm wrong. What's up with the stretch limo and the announcement at a church?

ADDED: I see the issue of Lt. Rountree's prior disciplinary record was addressed previously.

Riverman1
83907
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 06:52 pm
0
0
Raul, yes, a couple of people

Raul, yes, a couple of people corrected me on that saying he was moved from Sgt of Detectives to just plain Detective or something like that.

luckie
2
Points
luckie 04/03/12 - 08:15 pm
0
0
I am confused. There's a

I am confused. There's a hooker in jail. There's sexual activity in a sting hotel. What I remember from the news is the equipment and files he had at home. How and why did the Board hire him? There should be some prerequisites for qualifying to run. His mom is endorsing him. Is he married or not. I have seen him with the "Dads in Action" and his little group behaved worst than the children.

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