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Ivey 3rd candidate to join race for Richmond County sheriff

Friday, March 16, 2012 11:01 AM
Last updated Saturday, March 17, 2012 1:57 AM
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A longtime veteran of both the sheriff’s and city police departments officially joined the race to become Richmond County’s top cop on Friday.

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Sheriff's Lt. John Ivey, a 32-year veteran, announces his run for Richmond County sheriff outside the municipal building.   ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Sheriff's Lt. John Ivey, a 32-year veteran, announces his run for Richmond County sheriff outside the municipal building.


Sheriff’s Lt. John Ivey, a 32-year veteran of the sheriff’s office and Augusta Police Depart­ment, said he is seeking the sheriff’s position to provide residents with a “safe, secure and fruitful community,” where “concerns are not only heard, but swiftly addressed with the best possible solutions and necessary resources.”

Ivey said he would unite residents and officers.

“I will not only influence and promote but demand an open dialogue between community and law enforcement officers,” he said. “This is the best way to effectively reduce crime, enhance safety and maintain order.”

Frank Thomas, a former director of the Augusta Human Relations Commission, said he attended the announcement in support of Ivey because he had committed to forming a citizens review board for the sheriff’s office if he is elected, something former Sheriff Charlie Web­ster resisted when Thomas first pushed it in the late 1990s and never was adopted by his successor, retiring Sheriff Ronnie Strength.

Thomas said Ivey is an old friend, but he wasn’t prepared to support any candidate who didn’t support a review board.

“If it wasn’t for his commitment to do that I wouldn’t be here,” Thomas said.

Ivey said he intends to do a better job recruiting minority officers to build a force more reflective of the community. He said the sheriff’s office doesn’t really attempt to recruit qualified minorities. Although he said he believes the force is staffed with well-qualified personnel, he thinks most of the recruiting is done through personal relationships with other officers.

Ben Ivey, a former investment banker now living in Washington, D.C, said he was in Augusta for a few days to help his father launch his campaign.

He said his father was considering retirement, but many friends and family members encouraged him to seek office instead. The family has a history of political involvement. Ivey’s wife, Colis Ivey, was an Augusta City Council member in the late 1990s.

Ben Ivey remembers working on those campaigns with his siblings as a young boy.

“We were staking out signs and doing everything,” he said. “We worked hard.”

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 his successor. IN METRO

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double_standard
166
Points
double_standard 03/16/12 - 11:32 am
2
0
LT. Ivey is the only

LT. Ivey is the only candidate not in a limelight postion. This is gonna be an interesting election.

Willow Bailey
20579
Points
Willow Bailey 03/16/12 - 11:37 am
0
0
By far, the most interesting

By far, the most interesting race in decades.

Riverman1
78415
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 11:48 am
0
1
"“I will not only influence

"“I will not only influence and promote but demand an open dialogue between community and law enforcement officers,” he said. “This is the best way to effectively reduce crime, enhance safety and maintain order.”

He gets IT. So unless another white candidate runs in the Democratic primary the black vote has been split. Or rather, what's the word for third? Thirded?

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/16/12 - 12:29 pm
3
4
I love Frank Thomas

I love Frank Thomas dearly...but asking non-cops to "review" cop behavior is a quagmire.

Like asking me to review construction work...I may have an opinion, but I lack the background to really understand what is going on in the construction process. Without any background, what "looks good" might be bad...and what "looks bad" might be good.

Bad call.

overburdened_taxpayer
116
Points
overburdened_taxpayer 03/16/12 - 12:33 pm
2
1
Wow, I agree with Austin on

Wow, I agree with Austin on this one.

csraguy
2077
Points
csraguy 03/16/12 - 12:42 pm
2
1
Austin, you are 100% correct.

Austin, you are 100% correct.

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/16/12 - 12:49 pm
2
3
I just got asked by a fellow

I just got asked by a fellow poster here: "Under what conditions would you ever prefer a true liberal over a true conservative?"

That's easy...on a prom date.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 03:24 pm
4
1
I disagree with Austin on his

I disagree with Austin on his comment. I think some aspect of 'cop behavior' should be reviewed by a non-cop for the simple reason that they will not have the same bias as a fellow cop. What 'looks' bad, is almost always bad. Seen it too many times in that city.

Austin Rhodes
2852
Points
Austin Rhodes 03/16/12 - 03:31 pm
1
6
Patty...that is why God

Patty...that is why God invented Grand Jurys and Judges.

Riverman1
78415
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 03:44 pm
1
0
Didn't Richmond County used

Didn't Richmond County used to have a civilian review board that the Sheriff decided he didn't want to participate in after a short trial?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 03:55 pm
1
0
And many of the judges are

And many of the judges are biased and unethical as well.

Riverman1
78415
Points
Riverman1 03/16/12 - 03:56 pm
2
0
The Civilian Review Board

The Civilian Review Board wasn't only disagreeing with the RCSO about police conduct, they were ruling action should be taken that wasn't being taken in some cases. So it was a two-way street in ways.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 03:56 pm
3
0
The whole reason we have

The whole reason we have REPEAT offenders and the revolving door is because of the decisions of judges.

Dr_Evil
101
Points
Dr_Evil 03/16/12 - 03:59 pm
1
1
For once, I agree with

For once, I agree with Austin. There is no way that someone who has never been in law enforcement can understand what officers deal with on a daily basis. Split second decisions need to be made. Too many times, these "citizen" review boards "investigate" based on emotion and not rational thought, taking into account the "totality of the circumstances". There are those who will always find fault with officers given the chance (witness the statements made by some here; the officers are "always wrong"). Courts are made up of "peers", have a set of "rules", and have a "standards" for determining guilt. There is NO WAY that I would work for any agency that has "citizen review" boards.

Dr_Evil
101
Points
Dr_Evil 03/16/12 - 04:00 pm
0
0
Patty P, would you provide

Patty P, would you provide names of the "biased and unethical" judges?

dstewartsr
20388
Points
dstewartsr 03/16/12 - 04:15 pm
4
0
"Patty...that is why God

"Patty...that is why God invented Grand Jurys and Judges."

What nonsense. Grand juries are convened by prosecutors who need the police to bring them cases and perjure themselves to gain the 'win' record to catapult prosecutors to higher office. As for judges, a well-repeated joke is when a civilian lies in testimony, that is PERJURY. When a cop lies, that's merely 'testi-lying,' and the judge looks the other way.

"There is NO WAY that I would work for any agency that has "citizen review" boards."

With that kind of fear of public scrutiny, I suspect there's no way you COULD stay working.

Dr_Evil
101
Points
Dr_Evil 03/16/12 - 04:32 pm
1
1
My record in all my years of

My record in all my years of service are impeccable, thank you! And that record spans almost 3 decades.

I don't fear "public scrutiny", I fear a "public trial" and "conviction" without looking at the facts in an "unbiased" manner.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 04:46 pm
3
0
Of course I'm not going to

Of course I'm not going to name judges. I just know it happens. I also know that judges (yes judges) will twist the rules to suit the occasion and I've seen it happen with my own two eyes. They make mistakes and will not admit to making mistakes. Some judges insert their own personal views into a situation instead of the law or facts. Yes, there is a well known judge right there in Augusta known for doing so. When they feel they don't have to answer to it, they do it and get away with it. Judges are only lawyers with a black coat on. They make mistakes and are not perfect. Even worse when they take sides of attorneys (conflict of interest) no matter what the law says.

Little Lamb
43434
Points
Little Lamb 03/16/12 - 07:42 pm
4
1
The Civilian Review Board

The Civilian Review Board could be a part of the community policing package. I worked on a civic committee with a person who was interviewed for a civilian review board many years ago. He was disturbed that the sheriff (presumably Webster, but I'm not sure) made all applicants submit to a criminal and financial background check. Anyway, he told me that the board never really got off the ground.

Some pitfalls of the civilian review board are:

1. Training — the average joe on the street has scant knowledge of laws and police policies, much less of court rulings regarding what is proper and what is improper in police/citizen interaction.

2. Information — the police hold all the evidence and the civilian review board wants to look at it before a jury sees it. The prosecution could potentially lose control of the evidence.

3. Testimony — Just as a citizen has a constitutional right to remain silent when a policeman questions him, a police officer would have the right to refuse to co-operate with a civilian review board query. Unless the county drew up an ordinance to compel testimony from the cops to the board, silence would become the rule, not the exception.

The Civilian Review Board sounds good in theory. But I don't think it would work in practice.

csraguy
2077
Points
csraguy 03/16/12 - 09:57 pm
3
0
I am not for citizen review

I am not for citizen review boards of officers because I believe only those who have been trained and experienced the situations are capable of deciding the best course of action. However, I do think citizens advisory panels should meet in conjunction with officers in order to provide various opinions and insight from a different perspective. Often, the more the public knows about policing and "why" the officer did what he/she did, they become far more understanding.

Patty, you are 100% correct about revolving door injustice - it is ridiculous.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 10:15 pm
0
0
csraguy....is there ever a

csraguy....is there ever a reason NOT to arrest a drug dealer in Augusta....particularly when they are caught with drugs in their possession? How about juvenile burglars? Just curious.

Fundamental_Arminian
1833
Points
Fundamental_Arminian 03/16/12 - 11:13 pm
2
0
LL and Austin, I appreciate

LL and Austin, I appreciate your concerns, but I think the Human Relations Commission was promoting a citizens' review board, not to critique all arresting officers' actions, but to look into allegations about brutality and excessive force and the possibility that race discrimination influenced the treatment of the persons arrested.

A review board could help set people's minds at ease, especially where allegations are investigated and found unsubstantiated. The review board could work, I think, without putting evidence in jeopardy.

The proposal for this review board shouldn't be junked without some discussion and public input, at least. I'm glad that Lt. Ivey and Frank Thomas have brought it to the public's attention again. I'm also glad that Austin Rhodes mentioned it on his radio show, even if he spoke against it.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/16/12 - 11:32 pm
1
0
Well something needs to be

Well something needs to be put into place to answer questions about why criminals in Richmond County can get away with assault, burglary, drug dealing and everything in-between. There is no excuse for it whatsoever.

csraguy
2077
Points
csraguy 03/16/12 - 11:58 pm
1
0
Patty, I cannot speak the

Patty, I cannot speak the specific incidents you most likely are referring to. However, that being said, depending on the situation a person may be left off of the hook with a misdemeanor amount of drugs depending on the circumstances, etc. Deputies may use that to learn more important information or garner a "you owe me one" they may help to solve a far better case since a small amount of marijuana would only be a misdemeanor. In a county such as this, the jails are full and the arrestee would be out before the deputy even finished his paperwork and IF the case went to court, they would most likely receive a small fine or probation. So, although I don't necessarily agree or like the answer of yes, there are reasons and cases where this occurs. Even in larger cases where the DA considers the greater good, deals and plea bargains are often made to "get the bigger fish" instead of a juvenile or low level drug dealer.

As for juveniles, the paperwork is horrendous and the time in court is extremely long. If the person didn't commit a violent crime or sex crime, they will most likely not even receive punishment. If you were an officer and saw this time and time again and your time was wasted over and over, you would look at alternatives. I am not saying I agree with this but am trying to answer your question. Sometimes it all just depends on the circumstances. However, if you are burglarized, the person is caught, and you wish to prosecute, the police are not able to decline to arrest.

I am not saying that your statements are incorrect or that it doesn't happen but every cop I know or have ever worked with has it in them to arrest criminals. They don't put on a uniform, vest, gun, etc. every day to just ignore the criminal element.

Now, as far as what the courts do, that is a different story all together.

itsanotherday1
39415
Points
itsanotherday1 03/17/12 - 12:24 am
1
0
F.A., I agree with your

F.A., I agree with your 11:13. There is enough mistrust and suspicion of LE that they should welcome a review board to help bolster their standing. They should also demand of themselves that there be a video of every traffic stop. No "he said-she said" and the judge/jury trying to decide who to side with. It would actually clear up the dockets because the guilty would know there is no hope if it is on video.

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/17/12 - 12:37 am
1
0
csraguy....as far as 'the

csraguy....as far as 'the police are not able to decline to arrest'....then perhaps the RCSO needs to look into retraining a great deal of their deputies to do what they are supposed to do - actually in the case I was referring to, this was a young investigator who did so for personal reasons I assume. As far as drugs and other 'minor' offenses, I know the officers have their hands full, however, drug use and dealing in Augusta is the main reason for other crimes. When the so-called leaders and/or juvenile injustice system claims to care, my opinion is that their inaction causes more harm than good. Juveniles and other persons committing crimes need to have some type of punishment, or they will continue to the big league. Research for yourself and see what percentage of crime is being committed by people say...under the age of 25. Not only that, but when innocent people have to pay the price for crime, it's very disheartening and people lose their faith in 'the system'. And just because an officer gets tired of seeing the same thing happening over and over doesn't mean they allow people to be assaulted, burglarized, and allow drugs to run rampant in the communities. This is what is destroying the communities. It has to stop somewhere. I don't think the problem lies with RCSO by itself, but controlling crime has to start somewhere and continue to the justice system and be dealt with accordingly. It hasn't been an impossible mission in other cities of a similar size. Honestly, I think folks in Augusta are trying to be PC, but at the end of the day, it isn't helping at all.

itsanotherday1
39415
Points
itsanotherday1 03/17/12 - 12:43 am
1
0
Patty, I hear what you are

Patty, I hear what you are asking csarguy, and I don't necessarily disagree with you points. I have to ask though; when are we going to get at the ROOT of the criminal mentality and cut it off before it blossoms and sets more seeds?

Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/17/12 - 12:55 am
1
0
itsanotherday1....I don't

itsanotherday1....I don't really know what is at the root of criminal mentality. All I can say is I do believe it starts at an early age and festers, and has a lot to do with their environment. In my opinion it doesn't help much to brush it under the rug. I noticed that Augusta is full of churches....the churches and leaders of Augusta need to become more involved in this obvious problem with the youth. Parents need help (I know many will say something about this) ...but really need help in raising and dealing with the problems of todays youth. Surprisingly, many parents don't find anything wrong with juvenile delinquency such as being out all night, smoking weed, etc. I know a few parents that smoke weed WITH their teens. There is a lot going on in the high schools that isn't dealt with or even reported. The only way I can see things changing is with accountability and changing the way adults deal with teens and their behavior. This has to happen on every level (home, school, law enforcement, juvenile justice, church, etc.) and everyone has to be on the same page. Parents and teachers need to take back their authority and regain respect from youth. Until the adults can get a foot in (and perhaps literally) I don't see things getting any better. If we love our children and want a promising future for them, we have to be serious about making a change, and it needs to start now.

broad street narrow mind
348
Points
broad street narrow mind 03/17/12 - 10:13 am
0
0
here is an excerpt from a
Unpublished

here is an excerpt from a conversation with frank thomas. i was asking him about the closing of the human relations commission (under the same mayor who wants to add a new pr type department), but he touched on the history of his efforts toward a citizen review board.
--years back when alfago davis was shot and killed we were actively involved in that trying to resolve that looking at what happened and trying to sift through the complaints and concerns and back then well i had been pushing for the creation of a review board for a long time and it kept falling through the cracks because it's my understanding that as 159 counties in georgia most sheriffs are opposed to review boards. but i had done a lot of research back then across the country and some review boards do work. there are some that has subpeona power, who would just at sifting through demanding results, my proposal was entirely different. mine was to seek out people who had nothing no ax to grind against law enforcement, people of good will, who. and we advertised for people who wanted to serve on this board and we interviewed for about seven days. my board and i asked the same questions of everybody and i stood in the room while the questions were asked and they weoulld grade the answers and as soon as they finished i would thake the info from them i packed them up and mailed them to a friend of mine dr joy barry she's no longer there she was heading up an agency similar to ours but it was state wide a human relations commission. she had a lot of pros on that board drs you name ti and graded those answers and sent them back telling us who would be best to serve. one of the questions that stood out - what do you expect from a police man or a police woman and the same response was to protect and serve. s o we got the cream of the crop back and at that time sheriff webster had agreed. said he was amenable to a review board because we were working with a guy named sid hatfield as liason. in all our meetings. we got close to getting a reiew board in place. but when the emotions died down, it was rejected. when the emotions died down we got no further with it. "we don't need it. we got law enforcement, you don't know anything about law enforcement." well we had a deal with the state human relations commission to train these folk on how to deal with law enforcement. we would have a liason when they deal with certain cases with a law enforcement person there that would not impact on people's rights and wouldn't violate any laws. just to deal with issues and see they would not be there just to indict a policeman when he was accused of something. all year long they would be there and if they saw where a policeman helped a little old lady across the street they would profile that so it would be a pr tool for law enforcement but it did not work

(strength doesn't want) the woman is no longer there. (but it wouldn't be impossible to get training.) no it would not be. that's an easy thing. see if a law enforcement person in my opinion is smart he'll use that board as a pr tool. i mean offices assist people, i see them all the time person stopped on the road stopped and helped. profile that person. it's always been my aim, i'm pro law enforcement, it's never been my aim to indict law enforcement. my aim was to make things better. but it did not work.

greggarn
153
Points
greggarn 03/17/12 - 10:56 am
0
1
Wow, its fourth and 1 and

Wow, its fourth and 1 and there is 10 secs on the clock, you are on the team, lets just say you are uhmmmm the 4th string running back. Would you want to be put it the game to try and win it ? Not no but HELL No. Mr Ivey, I don not know you, but I can see one thing here, you are really IN THE WAY. You are essentially taking votes away from people ( pardon the pun) that really have a very good chance of winning. DO NOT BE PAWN IN THIS RACE.

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