News 12 First at Five / Friday, Feb. 8, 2013
AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- A lot of changes are on the way for the Richmond County Sheriff's Office, and some of them are already in action.
One of those changes is a new Citizens Advisory Board. It was promised by the sheriff when he was running for office, and now he says it's taking shape.
"The Citizens Advisory Board was picked by the commissioners in the district. They were advised to pick people who are actively working in their district," said Sheriff Richard Roundtree.
People like Sammie Sias, who you can usually find volunteering at the Jamestown Community Center, will be part of the group.
"I've been working in the community, doing what I can for our community for the past 20 years," Sias said.
He's done so much for his Hephzibah community they even named a street after him.
"Some people define that as a community activist, I simply define it as a person who's doing the right thing as they see it needs to be done," he said.
But now, he's been called upon to serve his community in a different way. This time, in an advisory role for the Sheriff's Office.
People like Sias have been hand-picked by their commissioners to keep the Sheriff's Office informed about what's going on in their communities.
"Those are the people we want on our board. The people who are already working, the people who are already active, because those are the ones that are going to make a difference, going to inspire others," Roundtree said.
The board will be made up of 13 people from across the community -- 10 nominated by each district's commissioner, one nominated by the mayor, one senior student nominated by the Board of Education and one person nominated by the Chamber of Commerce.
"I think this is a great opportunity for citizens to have a direct impact who also represent other citizens," Sias said.
The board will begin their training on Feb. 25. After training, they'll meet once a month with the sheriff to talk about the issues facing their particular communities. The board will serve a one-year term.