Richmond County Sheriff's Office Investigator Bill J. Adams leaves the police scanner going after work, listening for any radio traffic involving his son Deputy Bill B. Adams.
The scanner has been active lately as Deputy Adams has investigated a traffic fatality, chased robbery suspects to a hotel room and nabbed a pair accused of burglarizing the same liquor store several times. His actions earned him the title of 2001 Officer of the Year at the sheriff's office.
The 33-year-old deputy said it was hearing his father's "war stories" as a child that motivated him to join the force.
"I would hear about the chases they would get into and the shootings. It just piqued my interest," he said.
Later in life, his father tried to talk him out of law enforcement as a career because of the dangers.
But Deputy Adams said he wanted the daily adventures he had heard so much about.
It was two of those adventures in November that led his superiors to recommend him for officer of the year.
Deputy Adams helped catch two people who tried to rob the Comet Gas & Service on Peach Orchard Road on Nov. 28. The store's owners had beaten the attempted robbers with a soggy mop and a golf club.
Responding within seconds after a 911 call, Deputy Adams and Deputy Shannon Mitchell talked to the owners, organized a strategy and cornered the suspects as they fled to a nearby hotel.
During the same month, Deputy Adams helped chase down two teen-agers accused of repeatedly breaking into John's Party Center on Mike Padgett Highway to steal liquor and beer.
Deputy Adams said helping people and nabbing criminals keep the job interesting. After eight years, it is still fun to come to work, he said.
But whenever he needs advice, he knows he can turn to his father.
"A lot of times, I'll call him at night," he said.
"He will wear out the cell phone," his dad joked.
Investigator Adams, 57, has 24 years with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office and worked previously for North Augusta, where he earned his own Officer of the Year award. He now tracks sex offenders and works with pawn shops to investigate stolen items.
Like his father, Deputy Adams has earned his share of promotions. This month, he was moved from road patrol to the traffic unit, where he responds to accidents and looks for speeders and drunken drivers.
Officers who work with Deputy Adams say he will go far. They describe him with words such as hard worker, professional and dependable.
"When somebody's calling for backup, he was one of the first ones you would call," Deputy Mitchell said. "He handles himself very well."
Deputy Adams said his short-term goal is to become a road sergeant.
Asked about his long-term plans, he was interrupted by his father.
"Sheriff?" Investigator Adams suggested.
"I wouldn't go that far," his son said with a smile. "Maybe a captain or major."
Reach Greg Rickabaugh at (706) 828-3851 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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