News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012
AUGUSTA, Ga. -- As Richard Roundtree makes preparations to take office the first of the year, Sheriff Strength prepares to close the book on a 36 year career.
We caught up with the outgoing sheriff to see what he has in store these last few days.
"We're not promised tomorrow, so I want to see what the other side has to hold," he tells News 12's Laura Warren.
Only a week and a half left until Sheriff Ronnie Strength begins his retirement, and he says, he has big plans, "Go down to my farm, spend some time on my tractor, get some stuff cleaned up, get in the woods and cut some trees back that have fallen, so I'll have plenty to do."
Richard Roundtree took the oath of office this morning, but December 31st will be Sheriff Strength's last day on the job. But, even in these last few days, it's still business as normal.
"It's been absolutely no different from day one. The same things are happening, I'm seeing the same folks," he says.
With such big changes coming to the sheriff's office, we asked if he expected any resistance.
"Change happens all the time. It's difficult for some folks to accept change, but a lot of times it's for the best."
One change does have him a little disappointed, though. The new sheriff bumped Colonel Powell, Sheriff Strength's second in command, back to a captain's role.
He says, "I was upset about it because he's been here 35 years, he's done a great job, but that's his prerogative now, and he is the new sheriff or will be the new sheriff and he makes those calls."
As for the new sheriff in town, Strength does have some advice.
"The most important thing to remember, is to treat everybody fairly," he also says to make sure not to put yourself on a pedestal, and to take care of your people.
And, he also has some more personal advice, saying, "One big mistake I made in my career was putting this job first and my family second, and that's wrong and nobody should do that."
We asked the sheriff what he plans to do on the last day of his 36 year career?
He says, "I thought I would come to work without a tie on. That will surprise everyone!"
Sheriff Strength says even though his tie will be off, he plans to work down to the last minute on December 31st.