Q&A with Richmond County sheriff candidate Lt. Richard Roundtree

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Since Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength announced that he will not seek re-election, four candidates have emerged: Lt. John Ivey, Capt. Scott Peebles, Lt. Richard Roundtree and Lt. Robbie Silas. Here, Roundtree answers questions about his candidacy.

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Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree announced his decision to run for sheriff of Richmond County at Beulah Grove Baptist Church on Thursday.  EMILY ROSE BENNET/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNET/STAFF
Richmond County schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree announced his decision to run for sheriff of Richmond County at Beulah Grove Baptist Church on Thursday.

Q: Why do you want to be sheriff?

A: About six years ago, when I was working homicide, I saw that we had a large number of homicides committed by juveniles.

There was just one common factor in all of them and it wasn’t socioeconomics, it wasn’t race, it wasn’t a lack of a two parent household, it was that not one child who was accused of committing homicide had graduated high school. That’s when I saw a direct correlation between the lack of education and the violent crime rate.

At that point is when I said I one day want to be in a position to be able to assist the educational system so I can keep kids from entering the criminal justice system.

Q: Black males make up the majority of the prison population. What can be done?

A: I believe in education over incarceration because I know it does work. The 19-29 age group makes up 70 percent of the prison population, and the average inmate reads at a 6th grade level and have a 5th grade math level. The thing about it is, that they enter the system and they are uneducated, and you know 90 percent of the people who go to prison get out.

So that’s why I say the key has to be some alternatives to incarceration, because once they get imbedded in the incarceration system, especially 17-18 years old, it’s almost like a death sentence now.

Q: How can you as sheriff have an effect on that?

A: I can’t help the fact that I am an African-American. I grew up in this city. I’ve seen the plight that some of the young males are going through. They make up the majority of the prison population. I think that by seeing a positive roll model that is out to help the people and just happens to look like them, I think that will make an impact itself.

Q: What will you do to make changes?

A: You’ve got to partner with the educational system. That’s one of my advantages, working with the Board of Education. We’ve established some great partnerships and knowing exactly how the system works. And then to be able to expand on those programs I already am familiar with. The other thing is that you have to work with the courts and the DA’s office because there has to be some alternatives to incarceration. Sure there has to be some penalties, some consequences for certain actions, but incarceration is not always the best answer.

Q: Can you lead the sheriff’s office?

A: Ninety percent of the sheriff department are road patrol deputies and they are the work horses of the force and they are the ambassadors to the public. That’s what the people see. They have to see the philosophy of working with people trying to solve their problems and when they see a leader who embraces that, it will trickle down. They know I’ve never had a problem working. Never had problem going on calls. They respect my work ethic. I would never ask them to do anything that I wouldn’t do. And I think the men over the years respect me for that.

Q: With four candidates, do you think you can pull in enough voters to win outright in July?

A: Politics is a numbers game. The numbers favor us. If they follow the same trend as four years ago, we can win. The thing about this election is, we are giving them a good product. It’s not that this person is in the race and he looks like me. Not only does he look like me, he is qualified, I’m buying a good product here and that’s what we are telling people.

LT. RICHARD ROUNDTREE

OCCUPATION: Richmond County schools public safety officer

AGE: 43

FAMILY: Two sons and a daughter

EXPERIENCE: 3 years, Augusta Police Department; 13 years, Richmond County Sheriff’s Office; 2 ½ years, Richmond County schools

Comments (14) Add comment
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Patty-P
3516
Points
Patty-P 03/17/12 - 06:40 pm
9
0
I believe Roundtree is

I believe Roundtree is passionate about what he wants to do, but I think he should work on these ideas and stay with the BOE. Thats the first place and main place to make these ideas become reality. He needs to also remember that he is serving all citizens in the county, and not just the black population.

csraguy
2274
Points
csraguy 03/17/12 - 09:27 pm
7
2
With Roundtree, it is all

With Roundtree, it is all about Roundtree. From FB posts telling others to get in front of the train if you don't want to get on it with him to giving campaign speeches after getting out of a Limo that you sat in until the driver opened the door for you. The arrogance exudes from him as a candidate so it would be overwhelming as a Sheriff. The majority of his ideas are far more suited for him to continue to work in the school system without even going into why his immediate past should disqualify him for the office of Sheriff to begin with.

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/18/12 - 02:13 am
0
0
All this talk about avoiding
Unpublished

All this talk about avoiding incarceration seems like a bleeding heart to me. All these criminals in jail that dont have educations above 5th or 6th grade, well you can't force them. They had the opportunity, they didn't want it then and you can't make them want it now. That is being done with DUI's and isn't doing a dang thing. Most criminals will trade jail time for education, but it rarely stops them from doing it again!!

GaStang22
910
Points
GaStang22 03/18/12 - 02:17 am
0
0
LOL @ "ROLL" MODEL
Unpublished

LOL @ "ROLL" MODEL

JustAJoe
25
Points
JustAJoe 03/18/12 - 09:07 am
0
6
csraguy: Help me out.

csraguy: Help me out. Roundtree rides around in a limo with driver? Really? And he works for the Board of Education? I just moved back to Augusta and am pretty out of what's been going on so pardon me if the reference to "his immediate past should disqualify him" by itself sounds to me like mud slinging. You obviously really have it in for the guy but you should give me some good reasons to feel the same. All I know is from a flyer I was handed at the St. Patrick's Day Parade, but from that I got he has a good background in law enforcement and is both well educated and well trained. Help out us ignorant voters and fill us in on what you know?

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 03/18/12 - 09:30 am
0
1
I'm no fan of Roundtree, but

I'm no fan of Roundtree, but I believe some of the statements made about him show that things are not so rosy in the RCSO. Sylvia Cooper said Roundtree was involved in a stakeout at a motel and ended up having sex with three of the female officers working with him. If that's true and he, and the female officers, weren't seriously punished to the point of being fired, what's wrong with the RCSO?

Holdem
1
Points
Holdem 03/18/12 - 11:37 am
4
0
" I can't help the fact that

" I can't help the fact that I am an African- American"

csraguy
2274
Points
csraguy 03/18/12 - 12:09 pm
4
0
http://www2.wjbf.com/news/201

http://www2.wjbf.com/news/2012/mar/13/wjbf-looks-sheriff-candidates-pers... should answer your questions, JustAJoe. Other Augusta Chronicle articles also cover the comments he has made recently as well as the limo situation - frakly, I could care less about the limo but it goes along with the many traits he keeps showing over and over.

River, you need to read Sylvia's article closer and/or watch WJBF's news posting for clarification. This is simply reporting of what is in his personnel file for the numerous write up's, suspensions and his demotion.

Holdem
1
Points
Holdem 03/18/12 - 04:20 pm
0
2
This election will be the

This election will be the most important for Augusta.If Roundtree wins and then then Kendrick will probably be the next mayor,Augusta will look just like Atlanta in 5 years............

Riverman1
84889
Points
Riverman1 03/18/12 - 05:02 pm
1
0
Holdem made this interesting

Holdem made this interesting comment: "This election will be the most important for Augusta.If Roundtree wins and then then Kendrick will probably be the next mayor,Augusta will look just like Atlanta in 5 years."

2010 census Atlanta black population 54%, whites 38.4%.
2010 census Augusta black population 54.7%, whites 39.1%

pinkdymondiva
24
Points
pinkdymondiva 03/18/12 - 06:47 pm
4
0
Augusta should start looking

Augusta should start looking more like Atlanta because Atlanta is 25 yrs. ahead of Augusta when it comes to Technology and moving the city forward. Which is what the main focus in Augusta should be. The main reason that Augusta can't move ahead because the citizens here focus on race instead of how to move this city forward.

pinkdymondiva
24
Points
pinkdymondiva 03/18/12 - 06:52 pm
1
0
If all of the negative energy

If all of the negative energy geared toward race was used to channel the positive, this city would be a better place. Look at the facts and take it from there. Truthfully, the only two "seriously" qualified candidate running for Sheriff are Richard Roundtree and Scott Peebles. They both know the people, law enforcement, and have a relationship with the community. I know them both on a work and personal level and they are outstanding guys in uniform and out of uniform. Whoever wins between the two of them, the other will still have the same love and respect for the other at the end of the race. Now, can you negative people relate to that?

csraguy
2274
Points
csraguy 03/18/12 - 09:54 pm
4
0
Kendrick would make a good

Kendrick would make a good mayor just as Peebles would make the best Sheriff. It should be about the person, not their race, political party, etc.

PinkD, I agree with you to some extent however, missing court once 18 years ago being the only negative in your employment history (Peebles) and rising through the ranks over 20 years to Captain vs. multiple write ups, disciplinary actions, suspensions and a demotion in the not so distant pass does not give Roundtree the same level of credibility as Peebles, especially considering that one of those could have resulted in the loss of his arrest powers if the Sheriff's Office had pursued it further. They are however both nice guys and very involved in the community. Roundtree was given a second opportunity in LE by leaving the RCSO for the RCBOE and based on his platform, that is where he should be.

AjavaCafe
37
Points
AjavaCafe 03/19/12 - 10:24 am
1
0
If you want to read the

If you want to read the entire personnel files on all four candidates, go to WRDW's website. Roundtree's file includes the internal investigation into his sleeping with three of the four women on his shift.

JustAJoe
25
Points
JustAJoe 03/21/12 - 04:27 am
0
0
csraguy: I looked into it and

csraguy: I looked into it and I see what you mean. And thanks for the response and link

JustSpeakingMyMind
202
Points
JustSpeakingMyMind 03/22/12 - 11:28 am
1
0
I also am very involved in

I also am very involved in the lives of our young people and disagree that the only connection between all the homicides in Richmond County was that not one of the suspects had graduated. Statistics tell us that 24 million children in this country are currently living in a father-less home. That is 1 in 3 children. We also know that 83% of the juveniles in our juvenile facilities come from a fatherless home. You see folks Roundtree can talk about reaching out to these young people all he wants, but the hard truth is it is the parents that are broken, and until we fix them these numbers will continue to go up. So I agree, with Roundtree's platform he is better suited for the BOE!

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