Board of Education officer, Randy Clewis, is ready to make the move in law enforcement. He hopes to earn your vote when you cast your vote for the next Richmond County Sheriff and allow him to replace current sheriff, Richard Roundtree, after two terms. Clewis shares why he wants to lead the department and what he brings to the table.
Brad Means: Randy, thank you for taking the time to be here. I appreciate it.
Randy Clewis: No, I certainly appreciate the opportunity to be here and let the community get a chance to hear my voice and see what we’re talking about.
Brad Means: What made you wanna run for sheriff? Did people come up to you and ask you to do it, or did you just want the job? How did it all play out?
Randy Clewis: Well, ultimate has been a lifelong dream to be a sheriff. But in my time here, I really believe that the Sheriff’s Office is a unique position because it’s the intermediary area between the citizens and Richmond County law enforcement. So, the position initially started as an option, the sheriff that had the ear to people and their best interests at heart. And I believe that I can continue to uphold that tradition by being positive and progressive growing the department and the community.
Brad Means: What about–
Randy Clewis: As a public–
Brad Means: Go ahead I didn’t mean to catch you off, go ahead.
Randy Clewis: No, just being in Richmond County, working as a public for the last four years, I’ve seen how the role of leadership is really important, especially in the current pandemic and how we need to make sure the community feels safe and try to help improve their lives. So, that’s what we wanna focus on is leadership in the community and making everything better. So, that way we can all work together to improve and just have a better Richmond County.
Brad Means: Well, you’re currently in the law enforcement field right now as a Board of Education Police Officer. So first of all, thank you for helping to protect our children. Are you stationed at a particular school or do you roam around? How does it work with that job?
Randy Clewis: Well, currently I’m assigned to Laney high school. I’ve been there last two years. And before that I was at East Augusto K-8.
Brad Means: Do you know officer Travis Lazenby? He’s at Richmond Academy.
Randy Clewis: I do, I know a Corporal Lazenby very well.
Brad Means: Yeah, I had to give him a shout out. He is a great officer and a great protector of our children as are you. So, have you had a chance to talk to any of the Richmond County Deputies? Do they like you? Have they said, “Hey, please come be our boss.”
Randy Clewis: Well, the majority of the deputies I know, you know, being here at Richmond County or the CSRA for the last 10 years. You know, law enforcement, we stayed together. We pretty much know the majority of each other. So, a lot of my close friends and even friends that I consider to be family members almost extended brothers or sisters, you know, they want change. They feel like there’s been a lack of leadership over the last several years under the current administration. And they just want some change, some new blood to come in and make some changes. So, that way we can hold people accountable. We can be completely transparent and we can assist the community. And that’s what everybody’s at Sheriff’s Office want. ‘Cause you know, unfortunately they can’t speak out due to fear of any kind of retaliation, but the Sheriff’s Office is where as a community they want change. And so now’s a great time for us to create that change and make it happen.
Brad Means: And we should say that sheriff Richard Roundtree has been a guest on The Means Report and he certainly will be a guest again in the future. I know he watches this broadcast. And so certainly anything Randy Clewis says, we’ll have Sheriff Roundtree on to talk about as well. How prepared are you Randy Clewis to be in charge of more than 700 people? That’s a humongous undertaking for anybody. What in your life has prepared you for that?
Randy Clewis: Well, throughout my career you know, I’ve got approximately a little over 17 years worth of military and law enforcement experience across the board. So, with myself, as well as my command staff, that I’ll be bringing aboard, they have over 60 years of combined experience between the two of them. So, between the three of us, as well as all the great men and women at the Sheriff’s Office, we are more than confident that we can lead this department into the next decade and have a great working relationship with other agencies here locally, as well as the jointed counties and the citizens of Richmond County. Because ultimately that is as the sheriff, that is what I’m here for. I’m here to support the community and by doing so, that’s what we’re gonna do. We’re gonna hold everybody accountable from myself to the last person on the totem pole.
Brad Means: Is there a type of crime that you’d like to target to make our community safer? Or is it more about just protecting the overall County?
Randy Clewis: Well, we wanna protect the overall County, no matter what your economic status is or your race is. But we want to focus on our youth because we’ve seen a very big spike in youth violence. We want to also look at making sure our senior citizens feel protected. You know, they’re our guiding light and our youth are present and future when it comes to what we have going forward in county. So, we wanna focus on keeping our youth in school, trying to curb the gang violence and keep getting them off drugs so we can keep them in school. Eventually they’re gonna be productive citizens for us and eventually take care of me when I’m older. And so that’s what we wanna focus on is the you, the senior citizens and look at domestic violence issues that we have here. So ,that’s what we’re gonna focus on starting now,
Brad Means: You know, the headlines all over the news these days as we record this interview on the Thursday, before it airs, I have to do with Minneapolis and the way that the police handled, the George Floyd apprehension, the man who died after he was apprehended by those officers, four of them. How do you think they handled that?
Randy Clewis: From what I’ve saw, and I haven’t seen the whole video. I’ve just seen snips and pieces of it. I do believe it was handled very poorly. My condolences go out to him and his family. You know, it’s a sad day when law enforcement is involved with incidents like that. But that’s where I look at we need to have better training. Crisis intervention training, and sensitive training. So, that way we can have a better understanding of dealing with people and use of force. I mean, that’s what gets most law enforcement officers in trouble is use of force. And so we need to make sure that our deputies are prepared and well trained to handle situations properly. And unfortunately in Minnesota was a prime example of something that didn’t go the way it should have.
Brad Means: Well, I appreciate you taking a moment to comment on that situation. And I appreciate you taking time to be with us today. So people could, as you mentioned at the beginning of this interview, get a chance to hear you and get to know you. Thank you for your time, Randy Clewis.
Randy Clewis: Thanks, sir. And if I can, if everybody will find out more information about me, check out my website @clewisforsheriff.com. I’ll certainly appreciate it. And everybody come out and vote for a candidate. We need to focus on our local races. If you don’t have a candidate on your ballot, I really recommend you click on the democratic ballot and look at your local races first.
Brad Means: Alright.
Randy Clewis: Thank you.
Brad Means: Thank you, Randy Clewis, you be safe and be healthy and we’ll talk to you soon.
Randy Clewis: Thanks sir, you have a wonderful day.