Sheriff's candidates meet for forum in Olde Town

STEVE CRAWFORD/STAFF
Earnest Harvey talks to sheriff candidates Scott Peebles (center) and Richard Roundtree at this morning's candidate forum.
Saturday, Aug 11, 2012 12:10 PM
Last updated Sunday, Aug 12, 2012 2:14 AM
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More than 50 people braved torrential rains Saturday morning to hear the remaining Democratic candidates for sheriff speak in Olde Town.

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The slightly sodden crowd filled the fellowship hall at Moses Missionary Baptist Church on Walker Street for a 9 a.m. breakfast and forum with sheriff’s Capt. Scott Peebles and schools Public Safety Lt. Richard Roundtree.

Both candidates, who will meet in a runoff election on Aug. 21, described similar visions for a sheriff’s department under their control, which would include “community policing,” citizens advisory boards and a force more actively involved in the communities it serves.

Peebles emphasized obtaining national accreditation for the department, which he said would make the sheriff more responsive to the community and improve recruiting and promotion policies and create a more diverse force.

“Shouldn’t your sheriff’s office be held to the highest national standard?” Peebles asked the crowd.

He said the sheriff’s office was a powerful political office and having national accreditation would help ensure transparency and accountability for his and future administrations.

“The sheriff answers to nobody,” he said. “I think that is potentially dangerous for a community.”

Peebles said he would transform the force from one built around reacting to crime to one built on community service. He said deputies will have to change the way they work and relate with members of the public.

“We’ve got to pound it into their heads that their job is to serve this community,” he said.

Roundtree said the black community has to acknowledge that pervasive crime is a problem that everyone needs to deal with, not just police.

“We know what happens in our communities,” he said. “We’ve got to quit making excuses and come up with a program to address it.”

He said better education and providing youth with options other than crime are critical to finding solutions that work.

If elected, Roundtree would make certain that the sheriff took a more active role in reaching out to youth and intervening before adolescents and teens got caught up in a life of crime. He said he wanted to make deputies role models for youth, not people to be feared.

“The mentality out there is that I’ve got to fear the police,” he said. “We’ve got to change the way y’all think of us.”

He urged those in attendance to come to the polls on Aug. 21 so they could have an influence on how the sheriff’s office functions in Richmond County.

“It has been almost 28 years since we had a race that was this important in this county,” he said. “The next 10 days are important to the future of you and your children.”

Former Augusta Comm­issioner Marion Williams said the number people who showed up to attend the forum despite the weather indicates there is great interest in the sheriff’s race. He expects a big turnout for the runoff election.

“People are just tired of how things are,” Williams said. “They are ready to make a change.”

Afterward, Earnest Harvey said he hoped whoever was elected could do something about the number of parolees being returned without notice to the streets of Augusta. He said both of the candidates had good ideas and excellent qualifications for the job. He wasn’t sure who he would vote for in the runoff.

“They are both very balanced,” Harvey said. “It is going to be a real tough decision to make.”

Comments (8) Add comment
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OpenCurtain
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OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:23 am
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Well written and provides insight to the candidates visions

It appears that both of our candidates have settled down and are addressing issues once again.

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/12/12 - 07:37 am
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To the Silas Group

Remember the name FREDDIE in November....thank you

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/12/12 - 09:24 am
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However much money....
Unpublished

and multiple candidates it takes to prevent Roundtree from becoming sheriff. Roundtree has issues that will prevent him from being effective and they are not HIS RACE. Roundtree cannot change his race. Culture and attitude can be changed. Flood the democratic ballot with white potentials, either one could have done the job, to force a run off. Then to hedge your bets against a predominately black majority voting Democrat, you bring in a well qualified Republican for the final conflict. We hope Freddie wins. We hope the "politicking" works. Four horses in a five horse race is great odds.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/12/12 - 09:31 am
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And they continue to misunderstand
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that politics, government debates and government business has no place in the church sanctuary. Mixing a little church and state is okay if it fits your particular needs. The old excuse that the "church house" was the only place blacks could talk about their political views is much outdated. The freedom to move to the streets is at least sixty years old.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/12/12 - 09:40 am
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Turning the RCSO into an arm of the RCBOE is
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absurd. The RCBOE already ineffective at their own job. The duty of the law enforcement department is uphold the law (a standard of civil conduct for all)and apprehends the law breakers (those whose actions violate the law). RCSO is not the teacher, school or the church or the parents of criminals no matter what age. RCSO is not the judge, jury or executioner. Concentrate on CORE BUSINESS. It has far reaching effects on efficiency and finances. It will work with any endeavor. The "church" needs to find a copy to add to their book on Social Liberation Theology.

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/12/12 - 11:17 am
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The forum and the afterum...
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"Yon Cassius has lean and hunger look."
"Me thinks he wills me no good."
"Don't worry Julius, this is your election. Trust me."
" Beware of the dog days of summer. Beware."

soapy_725
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soapy_725 08/12/12 - 11:20 am
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Remember ......
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If a USA team wins the Little League World Series, Republicans do well.
If a foreign team wins the LLWS, Democrats do well.

Sonny Perdue, a loser, showed up just in time to jink Warner Robbins.

rational thought trumps emotion
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rational thought trumps emotion 08/12/12 - 12:39 pm
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Captain Peebles is the best choice

Captain Peebles needs our help to make sure we have the best person elected to this position. Get out and vote next week at the Municipal Building or vote on the runoff election day, 8/21.

nocnoc
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nocnoc 08/12/12 - 05:08 pm
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Seenitbe4 - I would love to hear Mr. Silas' recommendation

But I understand he can't officially endorse any one.

But I find it strange that you are so dead set against Capt. Peebles ( Democrat) that you would suggest such a obviously pro Roundtree idea as to Don't vote in the run off election and wait until Nov. to vote for Freddie Sanders (Republican).

So waiting to vote for Sanders (Republican) in Nov. is diluting votes for Peebles and a strengthens votes for Roundtree (Democrat) in the August Democrat runoff in the mean time. (A.K.A. Old School politics)

seenitB4
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seenitB4 08/13/12 - 04:45 am
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nocnoc

I find it strange that you THINK you can read my mind.....I could give a rats behind who they vote for on the runoff...I'm promoting my man Freddie in Nov....just like the sp folks are promoting on here 24/7....so loosen up...sit back & wait for the EXPLOSION in NOVEMBER!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/13/12 - 05:47 pm
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Open Curtain

If Roundtree wins where would you like him to put Peebles?

Riverman1
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Riverman1 08/13/12 - 05:51 pm
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Encouraging Peebles, Too

Open Curtain said, "I would also encourage Lt. Roundtree to avail himself to every opportunity to improve his depth and knowledge of the inter-workings of the RCSO. Then he'll be better qualified to run for Sheriff in the future."

I'd encourage Peebles to avail himself to every opportunity to improve his depth and knowledge of the interworkings of the RCSO concerning the relationships with alcohol serving establishments. Then he'll be better qualified to run for Sheriff in the future.

OpenCurtain
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OpenCurtain 11/07/12 - 05:24 am
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Adverse Comments

My thanks to everyone

formerlawman1201
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formerlawman1201 08/21/12 - 10:01 am
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if r wins we in trouble

scott peebles has the knowledge has the brains the leadership and the talent to run th rcso... plain and simple he is the right choice and he is still young and proefficient and will get the job done. dont forget it has been said in the past he has been groomed for this by sheriff strengh and sheriff strength is backing WHO ? peebles... nuff said... peebles will clean up our streets and neighborhoods. after all isnt this what all of us would want to see in rc. as for roundtree there is alot of things people dont know about this guy... if ur voting for him may god have mercy on your soul.....

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