CONYERS - Rockdale County Sheriff Eric Levett wants to let the entire county know that his department is doing everything it can to help in keeping Rockdale beautiful.
The sheriff made an impromptu appearance at the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners (BOC) meeting Tuesday morning to deliver information to the board and citizens and quiet some concerns.
"When you talk about trash pickup, trash pickup never stopped for the county," said Levett.
Levett says when he took office in 2013, the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office (RCSO) would get several complaints about trash on the roadways and people wanting the RCSO to do more to help. Nowadays, it's mainly a "handful" of the same people "complaining," said Levett.
"I have constantly heard this and it seems to be the same individuals who are saying it... However there are citizens out here who are being fed information that is not true."
Due to the complaints, Levett began monitoring how much trash was being collected by the RCSO and how many hours were spent in the field. Based on the data, which has been being compiled since March, Levett says that more than 400 bags of trash have been collected with 600-plus hours of labor.
"This was just an idea I thought of to do just to prove to people that we are doing it," Levett told The News.
While he championed the data collection on one hand, Levett seemed a little frustrated that his department was doing the data collection in the first place. He says the data collection "places extra work" on two deputies and his deputies' efforts overall, before the data, wasn't "appreciated by some individuals."
"I'm not sure if I'm going to keep up with it because I don't think it's right for the deputies to have to keep up with it," said Levett. "I don't think they have to keep proving (what they do)."
Also frustrating Levett is how citizens keep asking him about the trash in the community when there are "community service workers" and "Parks and Rec" that "are supposed to do this."
"I'm responsible for fighting crime," said Levett. "I'm a crime fighter, and I have said crime is my number one priority. However, we will continue to pick up trash."
Levett believes there may be some political motive behind certain people "spreading information to discredit him."
"What upsets me the most is that the deputies are out here working hard and they're using hidden agendas to attack to me," he said. "I'm going to stand up for my deputies and staff because they're working. I don't get mixed up in this political arena. Enough is enough."
The county sheriff position is up for grabs in next year's general election. Levett wouldn't officially declare his candidacy for re-election in 2016 but did say, "Everything is possible."