Peebles stands out

In crucial race for Richmond County sheriff, no candidate is better qualified

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It’s hard to imagine improving on the Richmond County Sheriff Office’s performance under Ronnie Strength’s solid leadership.

But if anyone could do it, it would be Scott Peebles.

One of the great privileges of the editorial writing business is the opportunity to get to know the people we choose to lead us, to take their measure, and to pass along our observations. In this case, we can tell you that it’s truly inconceivable that we could have a better or more qualified candidate to replace Sheriff Strength than Capt. Scott Peebles.

We’re not alone in that assessment, either. Many Republicans report eagerly casting or planning to cast Democratic ballots in the July 31 primary (voting started July 9), expressly to vote for Peebles.

It couldn’t be more important, either. Law enforcement leadership is literally a life-or-death situation, as it can impact both civilians’ and officers’ lives forever. But it’s even more important than life or death. In this consolidated county, whose sheriff’s office is the largest full-service local law enforcement agency in the state, the sheriff goes an awful long way in setting the tone for the community. If the streets aren’t safe, or aren’t perceived that way, that affects everything, from economic development to tourism to commerce to the quality of life for us all.

We cannot tell you how important it is to get this particular election right.

And we can tell you, without the slightest hesitation, that Scott Peebles is many miles ahead of the competition.

He joined the department some 20 years ago at age 19, and has done everything that’s been asked of him and more, nearly everything a lawman can do. He’s served in the violent crimes and homicide division, and has been on road patrol, the DUI task force, crime suppression team, SWAT team, and even started the hostage negotiation team. He has participated in and overseen major criminal take-downs, including Operation Augusta Ink, Operation Fox Hunt, and Operation Smoke Screen, that yanked hundreds of crooks and guns off the streets. He currently manages the Criminal Investigative Division.

He has extensive and diverse training that includes being a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He’s also deeply involved in the community, through Leadership Augusta, the Board of Directors for United Way of the CSRA, the Greater Augusta Arts Council and SafeHomes of Augusta.

A main goal of his is to achieve national accreditation for the department, a rigorous process which would provide an extra layer of professionalism and accountability. The accrediting process audits and monitors everything from hiring and firing to managing evidence and case files.

Peebles also is a huge proponent of community policing, which he says would lead to strategic planning, aggressive policing, and citizen collaboration on each beat.

Truth is, we haven’t needed accreditation under Strength and wouldn’t under Peebles. But if elected, Peebles wouldn’t always be sheriff. For him, it’s about leaving a legacy of unquestioned professionalism for the next guy.

It speaks volumes that, when some folks saw race being injected into the election, several prominent African-American law enforcement officers stepped forward to endorse Peebles. Mayor Deke Copenhaver also has weighed in with his support, as have others.

None more enthusiastically than we do.

“We are very blessed to have a strong field of dedicated law enforcement professionals running for sheriff,” the mayor told
us. “All of these men have my great respect, but Scott Peebles has my vote as I simply feel in my heart that he is the man for the job.”

Neighborhood activists also will be glad to know Peebles agrees with them that one house can take down a neighborhood. He is an adherent to the now-famous “Broken Window” theory of law enforcement, which holds that small crimes and even eyesores can create the conditions that allow larger crimes to grow. Andy Griffith fans know it as the “Nip it in the Bud” philosophy of law enforcement.

We asked Capt. Peebles what he’s learned under the widely respected Sheriff Strength. “It’d be easier to tell you what I haven’t learned,” he smiled – adding that Strength has shown an uncanny ability to “see the pitfalls” in a plan of action and to think things through.

And Peebles has seen how responsive and respectful the retiring Strength has been toward everyone in the community.

Scott Peebles will carry on the best traditions of Ronnie Strength, but will be his own man.

And is he ever the man for the job.

We urge you to vote for Scott Peebles for Richmond County sheriff on the Democratic ballot July 31 – though you may want to do it earlier.

Just to be safe.

Comments (89) Add comment
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seenitB4
97407
Points
seenitB4 07/22/12 - 04:20 am
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11
GEEZ

Give it up AC..you know what..I think now you are doing him more harm than good...
This ain't bobblehead city..
Tell it like it is Freddie....this paper will come on board one day.

rebellious
21865
Points
rebellious 07/22/12 - 04:25 am
7
4
No surprise here. While I

No surprise here. While I respectfully disagree and have made Lt. Robbie Silas my choice, this is one of Mike Ryan's classier writings for Billy Morris in endorsing a candidate. Appreciably missing is the slash and burn of the rest of the field, no doubt attributable to the recent backlash from one fading radio talk show host whose time has come and gone. Thank you for the the shift into the editorial land of the civil.

seenitB4
97407
Points
seenitB4 07/22/12 - 04:53 am
6
7
Yep you are right

Right about this...
Appreciably missing is the slash and burn of the rest of the field, no doubt attributable to the recent backlash from one fading radio talk show host whose time has come and gone.

Riverman1
93624
Points
Riverman1 07/22/12 - 06:32 am
4
11
Fluff Piece for Captain Obama Lover

In the old days as conservatives were still Democrats they would run under that party label, but never support national liberal Democrats. The conversion to the Republican Party is over now. Ronnie Strength was the last one.

For Peebles, Captain Obama Lover, to say he was proud to have been at Obama's inauguration and would have an Obama bumper sticker on his county car if he could tells me too much.

Roundtree and Ivey, the two black candidates, are unabashedly lifelong Democrats openly supporting Obama. Silas is a lifelong Democrat who worked as a union electrician for 12 years, but we don't hear him supporting national liberal Democrats.

What I see with Captain Obama Supporter is deceit and playing the race card. On the one hand he says race shouldn't matter when choosing a sheriff, but we all know why he is in the Democratic Party.

Riverman1
93624
Points
Riverman1 07/22/12 - 06:36 am
6
8
Freddie Sanders

Freddie Sanders courageously went into the mouth of the lion at the NAACP event and told them straight-up how unbiased he would be while Peebles played the race card once again to appease the liberal blacks. I'm surprised he didn't try to say he had a black ancestor and wear an Obama for president pin.

I heard Captain Obama Lover and the other candidates, except Sanders and Silas, disrespecting Sheriff Strength and the job he’s done. I’m surprised they didn’t blame Sheriff’s Strength’s wife for the tea not being sweet enough as some Peebles supporters blame her for everything else.

The choice is clear. Honesty, integrity and conservativism. Elect Freddie Sanders over Mike Godowns in the Republican primary and let's have a real shot with the coming breathtaking conservative push you will see November to take back this country from socialism. Freddie Sanders, integrity, no games.

seenitB4
97407
Points
seenitB4 07/22/12 - 02:55 pm
3
9
)

.....................

.....................

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Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 06:52 am
7
3
Sheriffs and Judges

should not be elected positions. They should be appointed by a public service commission who are elected by the people. Other than that I have nothing to say on this election. May the most qualified man win. With one obvious exception they all look like good men.

Riverman1
93624
Points
Riverman1 07/22/12 - 07:38 am
4
5
Carleton

Carleton, that's true in many ways, but sheriff is a constitutionally elected office all over the state. More importantly, I can't think of one case where the candidate most of the voters wanted didn't win, to be a little smart alecky here.

Voters are not stupid. In Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle had a big money opponent in Lewis Blanchard, Peebles campaign manager this time, and the voters soundly trounced him.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 07:38 am
10
2
Voters not stupid????

They elected Obama didn't they?

Riverman1
93624
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Riverman1 07/22/12 - 07:39 am
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6
Haha..Carleton..True

Let's just not make the same mistake and elect Obama supporting Democrats.

allhans
24885
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allhans 07/22/12 - 08:10 am
8
0
The thing is, several Augusta

The thing is, several Augusta residents in a recent conversation had never heard of Silas. They had heard of Sanders but in different positions...
Most are Republicans who will vote Republican in Nov unless the right candidate emerges from this "crash & burn" race among the Democrats. (And I thought the Republican Presidential Primary was nasty ):)

allhans
24885
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allhans 07/22/12 - 08:25 am
7
2
If Silas is not a true

Let me get this right. Silas and Peebles are really Republicans but for political gain they are running as Democrats.

No..that's not right, Peebles is an Obama supporter so this means he is Democrat, only Silas the former union worker is the Republican running as a Democrat.

Only Ivy and Roundtree are true Democrats..hmmm

You see how confusing this gets?

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 08:24 am
9
2
Off the subject

Voters, for the best part, are not stupid. Many, however, are uninformed and ,in many cases, completely uneducated. Civics classes were skipped by most when they were in high school. Interviews on the streets by reporters asking simple questions like "who is Joe Biden" go unanswered by people who are of voting age. There should be a requirement that all voters take a civics test before being allowed to vote. I know, that would be discrimination. BTW< Who is Joe Biden?

allhans
24885
Points
allhans 07/22/12 - 08:26 am
6
1
Good one Carleton!

Good one Carleton!

Riverman1
93624
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Riverman1 07/22/12 - 08:26 am
5
2
Allhans, Silas is a True Democrat

That's exactly my point. Silas is a lifelong Democrat as would be expected from his days as a union electrician. We all know he is a true Democrat and although I wish he and the other conservatives would get out of the party at least he is not praising Obama.

Riverman1
93624
Points
Riverman1 07/22/12 - 08:32 am
4
5
Let's Not Be Talked Into Walking on Hot Coals

I see where Tony Robbins talked some people into walking on hot coals and they were badly burned. Don't be conned into believing something that goes against your common sense. Let's not get hoodwinked into voting for anyone other than Sanders thinking we won't get burned.

Augusta resident
1368
Points
Augusta resident 07/22/12 - 08:38 am
5
4
Sorry Peebles

Dang, now I gotta find someone else to vote for. This is as tacky as the limo candidate.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 07/22/12 - 09:04 am
8
1
The initial goal should be to

The initial goal should be to emerge with two good candidates from both parties. Augusta would be set for a win/win either way.

Carleton Duvall
6308
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Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 09:50 am
7
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Smear tactics

They all use smear tactics.

Conservative Man
5578
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Conservative Man 07/22/12 - 09:53 am
9
1
I believe this is Scott's

I believe this is Scott's race to lose. In my mind he was always the front runner, Democratic affiliation notwithstanding. However I won't vote for him as I could never bear to hear myself ask for a Democratic ballot...Nor will I vote for the Republican candidates as neither have endorsed community policing....IMO the Sheriff's race should be non-partisan as it's not supposed to be a political office. Further I believe the Commission races SHOULD be partisan as they ARE political offices..It's backwards right now. But so much of what happens in government is backwards these days..

KSL
143787
Points
KSL 07/22/12 - 10:03 am
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2
Carleton

For an explanation of who Joe Biden is, see Rick's cartoon today!

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 10:16 am
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Joe Biden

KSL, Is Harry Reid really Joe Biden in a cheap suit?

freeradical
1176
Points
freeradical 07/22/12 - 01:17 pm
8
1
You cannot accept all the

You cannot accept all the high praise , acclaim , acknowledgment of

vastly superior postion within the police force, without accepting

the greater responsibility for the lawless state of Richmond County.

But apparently the puddin heads in the media are content

to keep re-applying lipstick to this particular pig of a swept under the

rug non-issue.

Does his vastly superior position bear more responsibilty than the other candidates

for the current state of affairs or not ?

This is not to say that Peebles may not indeed be the best candidate.

But these media puddin heads falling all over themselves to kiss

Peeble's more qualified posterior , without ever once questioning him

on the added responsiblity he now bears above the others is

nauseating add nausem.

Forcing him to acknowledege that along with his vastly superior

position of authority , knowledge , planning, training, etc,etc,etc as

compared with the rest, goes the added level of responsibilty for the

state of criminal takeover in Richmond county as of July 22 2012 , as

compared with the other candidates.

In Peebles vastly superior postion of power , influence , planning we

have been eyewitness such things as the long, slow , gradual , easily

observed descent into a wild west show that is now "first friday".

The abidication of public responsibility by the media in seeking to

attach no added responsibility to someone they claim is vastly more

prominent, and influential , responsible within the dept. is giving him a

pass.

Today's paper states that national gangs are really feeling all warm &

fuzzy about richmond county.

Which candidate bears the most responsibility for creating the now

warm & fuzzy atmosphere the bloods and crips find so much to their

liking.

The guy who personally helped the chief designer of the landscape , or

the guy who cuts the grass ?

To hear the media you would have to believe that the assistant

landscape designer, who holds several degrees in landscape design, as

well as numerous advanced training certificates in landscape

design , is no more responsible for the sorry state of the landscape

than the guy who cuts the grass.

It is akin to watching a MSNBC piece on Barack Obama.

For the record I am about 75% sure I will vote for Peebles.

I just hate boot lickers falling all over themselves not content

to let someone have their cake , but spoon feed it to them as well.

Willow Bailey
20605
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Willow Bailey 07/22/12 - 11:06 am
8
2
Could there be such a place

Could there be such a place to assemble for some serious political and community counselling? All of this does nothing to help the candidate that many think they are are helping.

And Conservative Man, I almost always agree with your comments, but not to cast your vote is equivalent to casting it for the worst person running. Please give your decision more thought.

allhans
24885
Points
allhans 07/22/12 - 11:29 am
8
0
Conservative will have a

Conservative will have a chance to make it right in November.

Many are crossing over because they believe Peebles is needed and they live in the county and it is a critical matter.

And despite what you read on these boards, only a small percentage of county residents ever read the remarks posted here. Instead they get their information from the hard copy of the Augusta Chronicle and/or watch local news.

Willow Bailey
20605
Points
Willow Bailey 07/22/12 - 11:33 am
6
1
allhan, CM, said he's not

allhan, CM, said he's not casting a vote in Sheriff's election, as I understand him, at all.

useful
750
Points
useful 07/22/12 - 12:12 pm
6
2
Since when,is obama running

Since when,is obama running for sheriff ? I dont care who Scott peebles says he voted for. HE IS THE BEST MAN FOR THE JOB!

harley_52
25872
Points
harley_52 07/22/12 - 12:10 pm
5
5
As Is Often The Case....

I am, once again, in complete agreement with Carleton. The Sheriff should not be an elected position and should not be influenced by political issues. The Sheriff should worry about law enforcement and public safety.....not politics.

Since it IS an elected position, I want the best man who is least driven by politics to win. My life-long experience tells me Conservatives are, as a rule, less driven by politics than are liberals and Conservatives are generally more inclined toward honesty and trustworthiness than are liberals.

Carleton Duvall
6308
Points
Carleton Duvall 07/22/12 - 01:07 pm
5
1
Agreeing with me,

Harley, got you a thumbs down. You gotta be more careful in the future,and, thanks. It is not often that people in your generation agree with me or people in my generation.

harley_52
25872
Points
harley_52 07/22/12 - 01:58 pm
4
1
I Don't Know....

...Carleton, I find myself more often in agreement with people from your generation than those from mine. I'm at the very front of the so called "baby boomer" generation, but have nothing at all in common with the dope smoking, drug addicted, self-absorbed, do whatever pleases you type folks that have come to typify the "baby boomers."

I was born the first year after WWII ended and grew up in a big family from a small town. I'm more like people from your generation than mine.

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