I find great pleasure in being able to give my first “Word from the Sheriff” report to the citizens of Rockdale County. It has been a busy seven months since taking office in January, but there have been some significant changes and positive progress that I am proud to report.
In April, my transition team completed their work and presented a comprehensive report that will be used as the foundation of turning the Rockdale County Sheriff’s Office into a 21st century law enforcement organization. A major task that is underway right now is developing a strategic, long-term plan for the Sheriff’s Office that will serve as a road map for the future. The plan will identify our strengths and our weaknesses, while allowing us to determine our needs with personnel, technology, community efforts, and crime fighting.
The Sheriff’s Office is also addressing the needs of improved safety equipment and better training for deputies. Safety and training for all deputies is a critical priority for my administration. We have already replaced numerous expired ballistic resistant vests and have selected a professional new uniform that we will phase in over the next year. We are also upgrading all of the older handguns to the newer 4th generation Glock handgun through a buy-back program at reduced costs. This change will provide deputies with the latest in firearm technology and innovation. Deputies are also being provided specialized training to enhance their knowledge, skills and abilities that will provide the highest level of service to the community. Training is an essential part of a professional law enforcement organization and will help us with the community to solve problems. Better equipment and training will ultimately be more effective in fighting crime.
The deputies at the Sheriff’s Office are continuously working hard in fighting crime and tracking down criminals. During the last few weeks, we have made some significant arrests for recent crimes. Through our new CompStat program, a car break-in trend was identified in south Rockdale. As a result, Lt. Dougherty and Deputy Devin Moore were patrolling in the targeted area and discovered three persons out at 4 a.m. When they stopped and questioned them, it led to a major break that resulted in five arrests and the clearance of more than 20 crimes, which included car break-ins and burglaries. In another recent arrest, Lewis Flagg was identified as the robbery suspect from a June robbery at the BP gas station on Highway 155. Through our assignment of a deputy to the U.S. Marshals Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force, Flagg and his accomplice were tracked down and arrested. This ended their multi-county crime spree of more than 11 robberies.
In closing, I want to mention that we have increased our social media presence, as many of you that are on Facebook have already seen. I encourage everyone to follow us on Facebook to see the efforts that are being made to make Rockdale County safer.
Eric Levett, Sheriff of Rockdale County