Originally created 01/26/00

Backs chief deputy for new sheriff



I'm a nervous fellow and scared to death of cops. If I don't brush my teeth in the morning, I'm positive some officer is gonnagrab me by the throat and demand where all that ugly stuff in my mouth came from.

But my attitude toward cops was jacked up quite a few notches the other day when I banged the rear bumper of a car in front of me at Eighth and Greene streets.

I tried to get out to check the other man's car, but my seat belt was cranky -- and here I was, expecting some litigation-happy loser to brand me a vile and reckless person for giving him a ton of pain and suffering. ... I knew this fellow was going to stick me with some action that would make my grandma grunt.

The man in the other car stepped out first. When I saw him, I had a major heart attack. The man I hit was none other than Chief Deputy Ronald Strength, of the Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

I forgot about Messers. Shyster, Lawyer & Pigeon. I was trying to conjure up the name of any good lawyer that could take me out of the pokey. I had visions of this powerful man named Strength stomping me flat enough for him to slide me under the jail. ...

But that fear died aborning. An affable Deputy Strength stepped between the cars to see if there was damage to either car and seemed as concerned about mine as he was of his own. He then came over to me, extended his hand and said, "I've taken plenty of bumps (in my career), and (compared to) them, this one doesn't look like anything, let's just call this a non-event." That's not quite a literal quote, but anyway, he told me who he was -- as if I didn't know.

He didn't need to introduce himself because his face and bearing were etched in my brain as well as Clint Eastwood saying, "make my day." This man not only gets my vote, but I'm going to tell everybody who'll listen that we've got an upcoming sheriff who is charitable, but fair. ...

Lamar Rush, Augusta