Friday, January 11, 2013

Sheriff Roundtree stumbling beginnings

Embedded media? I don't have friends in the law enforcement circle, the military or any Homeland Security Agency in the country. Maybe is a good thing not to have or probably is good to have one just in case, like some media personality like to brag about in Augusta. Nevertheless, to be ignored by the Richmond County Sheriff Office (RCSO) is not good, especially when we have the first minority person elected in office.

Sheriff Richard Roundtree knows me. I have an extensive interview with him when he was running for Sheriff so to be ignored when he met with the local media it was weird, to say the least. He met with them to discuss a new guideline regarding information coming from his department. The idea is that all information must come from one source, the media liaison I suppose, and that is the dangerous when one have to guess information. I was not there, I was not invited, therefore I have to relay in what I am hearing in the local media about that meeting. And that I have to inform to my readers. Seriously?

After I request an explanation today, Sheriff Roundtree called me back, he has my phone number as is a public domain, and apologize for the oops. It is hard to believe that his assistant or somebody in the department would not notice that there is a Spanish media in town. In that interview he was very careful to portrait himself as a culturally sensitive person. I only hope this was a big oops and nothing else, otherwise the signal sent to the international community living in Augusta is not colorful.

Sheriff Roundtree, the outsider community in Augusta probably need more than anybody else to trust in your department and your officers. And probably they will be your more reliable ally since some influential locals are more inclined to see you fail. Reaching out is the key.

They started going after Roundtree from day one during his campaign last year and the critics are not going to stop now.

Sheriff Ronald Strenght left office December 31, 2012 as a hero. His administration left a $25.000 theft at the municipal building from years past with no resolve, among other cases, but the local media is more interested to know how he feels as a retired civilian. By the way, his administration never invited me to any media event. But that was to be expected, I guess.

Anibal Ibarra

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