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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.

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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F4therTime 12/05/12 - 09:01 am
Time will show...

Color doesn't matter...cronyism exists on both sides....

Bulldog 12/05/12 - 11:25 am
Community Policing

The culture at the RCSD is going to have to change dramatically in order for any real Community Policing to occur. That means that those who do not embrace this new (old?) approach will need to find positions elsewhere. We can expect to see a good deal of change in personnel in the next year if Shriff Rountree really intends to keep his word and institute this much needed change in law enforcement philosophy. The public is very much supportive of this concept; we all hope that those who wear our badges will do so as well.

OpenCurtain 12/05/12 - 09:16 pm
RCSO Col. Gary Powell.

Simply put.
He has Class and hutzpa.

It will be interesting to see if he runs in 4 years.
It would be great to have a real RCSO skilled sheriff in the office in 4 years.

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