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Meet the candidates in the Floyd County Sheriff and Clerk of Court races



Published in the Rome News-Tribune on April 27, 2024

EXCERPT:


In less than a month, voters will decide who will assume the role of two of Floyd County’s constitutional officers — sheriff and clerk of court. Because the two races are on the Republican Party primary ballot and there are no Democratic Party candidates, the May 21 primary decides the contest.


For Floyd County Sheriff is one term incumbent Dave Roberson and challenger Robbie Whitfield. Both men are 20+ year veterans of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office and have served in multiple roles. Roberson won his first sheriff’s contest in 2020, replacing retiring sheriff Tim Burkhalter. Whitfield currently works at the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.


Focusing on recruitment and retention of employees, Roberson said he’s kept the sheriff’s office fully staffed — or nearly so — since he took on the role of sheriff in 2021.


Going back to what he calls the four R’s, Roberson said he promised to work on relationships, combating recidivism, recruitment and retention as well as revenue when he was elected.


“I’ve made good on that promise,” Roberson said.


As to the financial aspects of the office, Roberson said they’ve rebid all their contracts, worked with the county commission to improve employee compensation and upgraded equipment.


They’ve also secured over $100,000 in grants to combat gang activity and improve technology.


With the closure of the Northwest Georgia Regional Hospital over a decade ago, the role of the Floyd County Jail has changed.


To one degree or another, jail officers have had to also take on the role of mental health counselors as well, Roberson said. He’s worked to provide training for de-escalation measures as well as collaboration with mental health agencies. They’ve also completed and opened a SPLOST funded mental health wing during his tenure.


“We’ve had mental health training for all our officers to understand the challenges associated with dealing with people who have mental health issues and disabilities,” Roberson said.


Also in his first term in office, he instituted the FREED program to provide inmates with life skills and counseling to hopefully reduce recidivism in our community.


“I actually saw the mother of one of our first graduates the other day,” Roberson said. “She’s actually got a stable job and got her kids back. When I see her mother she always says thank you.”


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