Bottom line

Elections have consequences. Especially to longtime administrations.

 

No one should be surprised, then, that a shakeup has already started at the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office, which will be installing its first African-American sheriff in the county’s history at the end of the month.


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Sheriff-elect Richard Roundtree promises no firings, but naturally is bringing in his own team – including, as chief deputy, Patrick Clayton, outgoing chief of safety and security for Richmond County public schools. We happen to know Clayton, a former federal Drug Enforcement Administration agent. He will be a good addition to the sheriff’s department.

Roundtree also will demote 35-year department veteran Col. Gary Powell to captain, a loss of about $20,000 a year.

To his undying credit, Powell – longtime sheriff Ronnie Strength’s right-hand man and a walking institution in Richmond County law enforcement – took the demotion in stride, saying he knew his was a political appointment.

It’s sad to see Powell’s demotion, but he’s right: The new sheriff has not only the right but the duty to surround himself with a team that is his own.

We wish the entire department well in this time of transition.

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