Sheriff Richard Roundtree takes historic oath of office

Richard Roundtree is sworn in as sheriff of Richmond County. (WRDW-TV)

Richard Roundtree is sworn in as sheriff of Richmond County. (WRDW-TV)

News 12 First at Five / Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- There's a new sheriff in town. Richard Roundtree took the oath of office Thursday on the steps of the courthouse.

Hundreds of people packed the courthouse steps in Augusta to watch history being made. Sheriff Roundtree is the city's first African-American sheriff, and his oath of office is the first step toward a new era of law enforcement for Augusta.

Local radio personality Minesotta Fattz was there for the event, saying, "This is history. The first African-American sheriff. This is an amazing day for Augusta-Richmond County."

But the journey to this point hasn't all been smooth sailing for the new sheriff. He's faced a lot of naysayers and a little controversy along the way.

"Richard is just like all of us, there have been things in our past that if we could do over again, we wouldn't do it, but if we continue to look back, you're going to miss out on something into the future," said Commissioner Bill Lockett, who was also present for the ceremony.

Roundtree said, "I never got down on the negative ... never focused on that, just focused on once I get in that office, what good could I do, and now I have the opportunity to do that."

After the ceremony, supporters gathered at Beulah Grove Baptist Church for a free reception meal that was paid for by the Campaign to Elect Richard Roundtree. It was a chance for the community to celebrate a new beginning.

"It brings hope and possibilities to this city that we haven't seen in a very long time," Roundtree said.

Roundtree is also hosting the city's first sheriff's inaugural ball on Jan. 4.


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