The Inside Story: Roundtree declares 'we are not law enforcement officers, we are peacekeepers'

Richard Roundtree (WRDW-TV)
Richard Roundtree (WRDW-TV)
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News 12 at 6 o'clock / Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012

AUGUSTA, Ga. -- The call was issued on News 12. Republican challenger for sheriff of Richmond County called for debates with Democratic challenger Richard Roundtree.

Roundtree says there is nothing to debate, but his comments about the role of deputies are sure to raise eyebrows.

The woman who accused the Roundtree supporter of vote buying was arrested over the weekend.

Latasha Moore, 23, was accused of making harassing phone calls to the wife of Jerry Lee Jordan, the man who she says tried to buy her vote with a car during the Richmond County sheriff race.

Moore was a no-show in court and went to jail this weekend on charges of harassing phone calls, simple battery and criminal trespassing.

"So we're not getting caught up in the distractions. And as we said at the beginning ... I wasn't even going to comment on it, because we felt it had no credibility to it whatsoever," said Lt. Roundtree. "This validates that. I hope we can move on to moving the city forward."

The focus now turns to a call for debates issued by the Republican challenger Freddie Sanders right here on News 12.

"So if they want to get with me and debate me about all these issues, I want them out front to come on and let's do that," Sanders said. "Let's debate!"

Roundtree responded on our weekly radio segment on 96.3 KISS FM.

"I'm saying there is nothing to debate. My issues are my issues. They have been on my platform," he said. "They have not wavered at all."

Roundtree says he focused on things like education over incarceration.

"Our job is peacekeepers. We are not law enforcement officers. We're peacekeepers," he said. "Our job is to promote voluntary compliance."

"Are you saying that you are not going to be tough on crime?" we asked.

"No," Roundtree replied, "we've always said violent offenders belong in jail. We've been in law enforcement for almost 20 years now. Those are my issues. They are not debatable."

Roundtree says he is focused on talking directly to voters.

Sanders says debates are the best way to see where each candidates stand on the issues.

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