Roundtree releases 'covenant with community' as Peebles warns against 'empty catchphrases'

Richard Roundtree
Lt. Richard Roundtree, candidate for Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, March 15, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- One day after admitting mistakes, Lt. Richard Roundtree announced he is officially running for sheriff of Richmond County.

Dozens gathered on the steps of Beulah Grove Baptist Church for the announcement Thursday morning.

"I officially announce my candidacy for sheriff of Augusta-Richmond County," he said.

Several supporters were on hand to declare Roundtree has their vote.

"Yes sir," said Chris Dixon. "He's got my vote. He's got my whole family's vote."

Dixon's husband worked alongside Roundtree on the SWAT team.

"Richard has got a very big heart," Dixon said. "He cares a lot about the people, not just about putting bad guys away, but helping kids not become bad guys."

The event included Roundtree making a dramatic entrance in a white stretch limo.

Roundtree said he was thinking of his mother.

"I wasn't going to do it if she wasn't going to be here," he said. "I wanted to make it as comfortable for her as possible, given some of the limitations that she has."

His mother is a double amputee and was there to stand next to her son as he made the announcement.

"You aren't going to make me cry, Chris," said a visibly emotional Roundtree. "It's overwhelming at times. Throughout my life, any dream I had, they've [his parents] always supported me."

He released a "covenant with the community." It calls for a citizens advisory board and volunteer services bureau.

"There is not a day you can turn on the news where you don't see violent crime happening in this community," Roundtree said. "So you can say all you want that it is getting better, but the people don't see it."

Cpt. Scott Peebles formally announced his run for sheriff with his family by his side on Monday.

"This office needs a man who doesn't just speak in empty catchphrases," Peebles said.

The themes will be similar this year, but Dixon said Roundtree is her candidate.

"He has a lot of integrity," Dixon said. "I just think he is perfect for the job."

The race has gotten pretty crowded in just a matter of days. Sheriff Ronnie Strength announced he was retiring last Friday.

News 12 spoke with Lt. John Ivey who says he will make his announcement Friday.