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Sheriff-elect names transition team
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Sheriff-Elect Eric Levett recently announced the members of the transition team that will help in assessing the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office.

The team members are: Beverly Thomas, Division Chair for the Georgia Piedmont Technical College - Health, Public Safety and Security Division; Special Agent in Charge Steve Edwards, Georgia Bureau of Investigation (retired); Maj. Jeff Norman, Henry County Sheriff’s Office; Lt. Tyrone Oliver, Newton County Sheriff’s Office and Instructor Jonathon Fuss, Georgia Public Safety Training Center.  

The team, which will serve a critical role in the RCSO assessment, will serve in an advisory capacity until Levett officially assumes the position January 1, 2013. 

Levett said in a released statement, “I have a top-notch transition team in place that is working to assess the operations of the Rockdale Sheriff’s Office. Each team member is bringing a high-level of expertise to help make this transition smooth.”

According to the statement, the transition team is taking a holistic approach to the assessment of the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office and will assess each of the current divisions of operation: Uniform, Support Services, Criminal Investigations, Warrant/Civil, Jail, and Court Services & Operations. As part of the assessment, the transition team is evaluating the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office for organizational efficiency & structure, service delivery strategy, effectiveness in reducing crime, technology, employee morale, employee safety, equipment, vehicles, assignments, training, and policies and procedures. 

While the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office is a state certified agency, the transition team is also reviewing the potential benefits of pursuing voluntary accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (CAC), both of which are different accrediting bodies.  

Although the transition team has already began working with Sheriff-Elect Levett, on-site work will not begin at the Sheriff’s Office Headquarters until after January 1, 2013. Currently, the transition team is expected to complete the top-down assessment by March 2013.


Transition Team Members:


Beverly Thomas, Transition Team Chair

Beverly Thomas is currently the Division Chair for the Health, Public Safety and Security Division of Georgia Piedmont Technical College. She has over nineteen years’ experience in law enforcement and probation. As a former Detective with the Conyers Police Department Thomas began teaching at GPTC and eventually started the Law Enforcement Academy program at the college. She served there as Director until being promoted to Division Chair last year. She is the administrator over 12 Public Safety and Health related programs to include the Law Enforcement Academy.  She also serves as a member of the college’s police department. Thomas holds POST Instructor certifications as a General Instructor as well as specialty instructor certifications in Defensive Tactics, Emergency Vehicle Operations, TASER and ASP baton. She holds a Bachelors and Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and plans to attend Valdosta State next fall to obtain her Doctorate in Public Administration.  


Jonathon Fuss

Jonathan Fuss currently serves as the Traffic Section Supervisor of the Impaired Driving and Speed Detection training programs for the Georgia Police Academy Division of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. He manages and coordinates two highway safety grants administered through the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety which emphasizes the detection and apprehension of alcohol and drug impaired drivers and speed enforcement. These programs include the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Standardized Field Sobriety Testing, Advanced Roadside Impaired Driving Enforcement, the International Association of Chiefs of Police Drug Evaluation and Classification Program (DRE), and police traffic RADAR and LIDAR. He is a 19 year veteran of law enforcement and received his undergraduate degree from Mercer University in Criminal Justice.  


Tyrone Oliver

Tyrone Oliver is currently a Lieutenant with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office. He has over thirteen years of experience in law enforcement, all of which have been with Newton County.  He is currently assigned as Assistant Division Commander of Criminal Investigations, in which he oversees the day to day operations of investigations as well as the Sex Offender Registry, Internet Crimes against Children, Crime Scene Unit, Crime Analysis Unit and the Crime Suppression Unit. Oliver holds many certifications including: General Instructor, Defensive Tactics Instructor, ASP Tactical Handcuffing Instructor, ASP Baton Instructor and certified as a Computer Voice Stress Analyst. Oliver is also currently a Public Information Officer for Newton County. In previous years, he has served as a Detention Officer, Patrol Deputy, Community Outreach Deputy and Special Agent (East Metro Drug Enforcement Team). As a supervisor, he has served as Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant, as well as Assistant Commander of the Special Investigations Unit. Oliver is a graduate of Columbus State University’s Law Enforcement Professional Management Program.


Steve Edwards

Edwards currently is a private contractor working for entities such as Fox Valley Technical College, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the University of Tennessee, the US Department of Justice and several other clients. In this role he assists in the development of training, facilitates training and evaluates law enforcement programs.  Edwards also assists in the search and rescue of missing children and cold case investigations involving missing children and adults. He retired from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) in April 2005 after 32 years of service. In his last assignment he was the Special Agent in Charge of the Financial Investigations Unit and the Commander of the Georgia Internet Crimes against Children Task Force. Edwards is certified and trained as a polygraph examiner and a certified fraud examiner.  He has lectured both nationally and internationally. He has had guest appearances on numerous news shows including CNN, C-Span, local area television and radio stations as well as the Gravedigger, a syndicated show on the Christian Network. He has also authored numerous articles and is currently working on a publication related to child sexual exploitation. 


Jeff Norman

Major Jeff Norman is a lifelong resident of Rockdale County. He started his Law Enforcement career as a Reserve Deputy with Rockdale County in 1988 before accepting a full time position in Henry County in 1990. He has work several positions with in the Sheriff’s Office including Road Deputy, Investigator and also Drug Interdiction. He was a member of the SWAT Team. He is a Certified Instructor with POST. He accepted a Sergeant’s position in the Henry County Detention Facility in 1993 where he has moved up through the ranks to his current position as Jail Commander. As Jail Commander he is responsible for 168 employees and 2 facilities with a total capacity of 908 beds with a daily average of 680 inmates. He has helped write policies and procedures for the Detention Facility and the Sheriff’s Office.