Some officers have stated that there is a lack of respect shown throughout the sheriff’s office, particularly from two top members of Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s command staff. Several deputies claim these top officials are frequently out of line with verbal abuse and their treatment of county personnel.
However, officers working under these two top cops fear putting anything on the record or making an official complaint because they don’t want to be seen as a “rat” within the agency.
They also worry that filing such a complaint would haunt their careers if they decide to look for employment within another local law enforcement agency.
It’s easier to pack up and leave than fight the system.
Some former officers have gone as far as to describe the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office as a “toxic workplace.”
At this point, many of the veteran officers in the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office are simply trying to hold out until retirement.
In fact, some even have their countdown to retirement listed as their screensaver.
When The Insider wrote about these problems within the sheriff’s office in January, many were surprised to see that one of the first people who “liked” the column on Facebook was none other than Sgt. Shane McDaniel of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office.
McDaniel is a former public information officer for the sheriff’s office and while he agreed with The Insider a few weeks ago, he stunned many local Augustans this past Friday by publicly talking about issues he’s faced working under Roundtree.
WGAC Radio Host Austin Rhodes reposted a Facebook message from McDaniel that he apparently wrote last week.
Here is the message from McDaniel:
“I am sitting back and watching (with a HUGE SMILE) some GREAT & INTELLIGENT people leave a cesspool of an agency. Congrats to you courageous people for standing up for what’s right for YOU. You men and women deserve so much more… And you definitely deserve a better leader.
If a leader doesn’t understand the concept of ‘service above self,’ they will not gather the trust, confidence, and loyalty of their subordinates. Any leader is only as good as his or her team’s desire to be led by them. An over abundance of EGO, PRIDE, and ARROGANCE are NOT positive leadership traits.
Real leaders take the blame and give the credit — not the other way around. Long story short: if a leader receives a vote of non-confidence from their subordinates… Then the subordinates WILL seek alternatives…”
If that’s not a wake-up call for Sheriff Roundtree, nothing ever will be.
It’s time to get real.
If Roundtree really wants to retain more deputies and officers in his department, he might want to seriously talk to them about their work environment.
There are only so many newbies willing to join a sinking ship.
Roundtree needs to listen to his veteran officers and make some immediate changes.