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Columbia County law enforcement works to fill new positions

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 7:49 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - As we know it can be a tough time to be in law enforcement. Agencies nationwide and here at home are seeing record numbers of officers leaving the force. Today we’re looking at how Columbia County is working to get more men and women in uniform.

Thomas Fredericks has worked in law enforcement for almost 20 years. Today’s climate is different than anything he’s seen.

“We just have to take it as it comes. We treat everybody with respect, and I try to treat everybody like brother and sister would be treated,” said Thomas Fredericks, Columbia County Deputy.

But filling law enforcement positions certainly isn’t any easier. People trickled in at Columbia County’s career fair today.

“We are looking for seven detention officers, seven patrol officers, and three communications officers,” said Sgt. Daniel Massey, Columbia County Sheriff’s Office.

Sergeant Daniel Massey says their approach is to make sure people feel welcomed. They try to build community engagement and transparency.

“The things that happened in the past it’s kind of tough looking at it. It’s a few bad seeds, and it’s not what law enforcement is all about,” said Sgt. Massey.

The numbers tell the story. Since January 2021 Grovetown Public Safety has seen 10 officers leave. But they’ve hired seven and have two pending offers since then as well.

In Richmond County around 40 sheriff’s office staff have resigned since January 2021. And they lost 18 percent of their workforce in 2020. Columbia County needs to fill 17 open positions.

“I’ve always been the type of person who wanted to help people. I felt like this job gave me an opportunity to do that,” said Fredericks.

And there are opportunities in law enforcement everywhere you look.

“If you want to help people and make a difference in your community, then that’s the thing to do. That’s the job for you,” he said.

Columbia County says they plan to do more community outreach events. They believe that will help with letting more people know about opportunities.

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