Raising his right hand and placing his left on the Bible, Richard Roundtree is sworn in as the new sheriff of Richmond County Thursday morning.
"We're governing over 200,000 people, and they look to their sheriff for guidance and leadership. So it's a humbling experience, because it's an awesome responsibility," Sheriff Roundtree said.
The job is a responsibility of leading the largest sheriff's office in the state of Georgia. Sheriff Roundtree says he has a new vision for the county, and turns to the community and fellow deputies for their support.
"We had a lot to look forward to, and I'm up for the challenge," said Daisy Williams, a deputy with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.
"Fresh blood is always good for any community," said Leo Libbey, a resident in Richmond County. "You know Ronnie Strength did an outstanding job, and I'm sure Sheriff Roundtree will do an outstanding job as well."
Sheriff Roundtree is succeeded by Ronnie Strength, who announced his retirement earlier this year.
"The citizens of this community, they have been great to me and for that, thank you," said former Sheriff Ronnie Strength.
Richmond County hasn't seen a new sheriff in 36 years. And in its 236-year history, he is the first African American to hold the office.
"It's beautiful to know that people have gone beyond race, and start looking at the content, and not only that but the message," said Commissioner Corey Johnson.
But Sheriff Roundtree says race was never his focus when he decided to take on this role.
"I never grew up ever thinking that my goal was to be the first African American sheriff, official or anything," Sheriff Roundtree said. "My thing is I grew up in this city, and it's been good to me, and I'm blessed to get the opportunity to give back to it."
And he'll give back as he swears to uphold the constitution and laws that govern this county.
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