Richmond County Sheriff urges kids to stay out of gang life

News 12 at 11/ Saturday, August 9, 2014

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- It's a persistent problem on our streets and in our schools.

"We do have a gang element within the city," Sheriff Richard Roundtree admitted.

Soon kids head back to school to rooms full of desks and books and hidden pressures lurking in every class.

"The gangs are actively recruiting our kids. That's the message we try to send to our parents. The gangs are not just sitting back waiting on kids to come to them. They are actively pursuing kids," Sheriff Roundtree said.

Saturday, all eyes were on the Sheriff as he ended that video-game mentality that life comes with a reset button.

"Anytime I speak to kids I speak about real life situations that happened here in Augusta, about how kids are dying in the streets, how kids go to prison, how I've sent people to prison," he said.

Even the man who's sent people to prison says he's no different than these kids and hopes a little encouragement could change the course of a life.

"I'm trying to let them know I'm just like them. I was born and raised here in Augusta. I was raised in the public school system. There's nothing special about me, but I overcame some adversity," said the Sheriff.

Sheriff Roundtree was the guest speaker at Psi Omega's first "Stop the Violence Ques Cares" event at May Park Community Center. He says the Sheriff's Office has committed to partner with any group who wants to sponsor an event to help curb violence and give back to kids.

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