Rockdale County Sheriff-elect Eric Levett confirmed on Wednesday that his selection for Chief Deputy is Maj. Scott Freeman, a bureau commander of the Conyers Police Department.
Levett said that Freeman "has an impeccable reputation of being fair, ethical, and having exceptional leadership qualities... (His) reputation for being tough on crime is well known, and this is a key area that will have the highest priority."
Freeman has been with the CPD for 22 years, starting out as a dispatcher with the city of Conyers after graduating Rockdale County High School and working in just about every department of Conyers police. He recently graduated from the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va., holds a Ph.D. from Walden University, and is an adjunct professor for Strayer University.
"I've known Freeman half my life," said Levett. "He has a good work ethic. He makes solid decisions. He's highly respected in the city of Conyers by the citizens and by the officers and his command staff. Freeman knows how to treat deputies and he's a hands on commander. He doesn't only sit behind a desk. He also responds to the calls with his troops. He's a listener. He works hard at solving problems at hand. That's the reason why I believe he and will I work well together in taking the Sheriff's Office and county forward."
Freeman said he was humbled to be offered the position.
"To say that I'm excited about this opportunity is an understatement... I look at this as an opportunity in working with the new sheriff to make the county much safer for all the citizens and make sure the detention deputies and road deputies have the equipment they need to do their job." Those were the two priorities he said Levett had charged to him.
"We've talked extensively about his vision about where he wants to take public safety in Rockdale County... We're on the same page about what we think needs to be done."
"I look forward to taking the knowlege I've gained over the last 22 years in the Conyers Police Department and applying that to the whole county. I see that as a great opportunity to help build some bridges with the CPD and Sheriff's Office and other agencies as well, such as the Georgia State Patrol. It takes a team effort to make the community safe."
His last day with the Conyers Police is Dec. 5.
During his campaign, Levett said he would look outside the RCSO for his Chief Deputy. The sheriff-elect said having a Chief Deputy to manage day-to-day operations would allow him to be accessible to the public and RCSO employees, which is a priority. One of his main goals is to have open lines of communication.
Levett said he felt having a Chief Deputy was an effective organizational management and leadership model. He pointed out the Sheriff's Offices of five bordering counties have Chief Deputy or Chief of Staff positions.
"Having a chief deputy ensures the citizens better checks and balances," Levett said. "When you are a one-man band and you rely on a division command style, it doesn't ensure complete checks and balances."
He added, "There are times when the Sheriff is at training or may be sick or at multiple meetings. Having a second in command available to respond... ensures professional services, accountability and better safety."