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Brown participates in roundtable discussion on challenges facing Ga. sheriffs

COVINGTON -- Newton County Sheriff Ezell Brown, along with Sheriff Ira Edwards Jr. of Clark County, recently represented the Georgia Sheriff's Association in a roundtable discussion for a national audience in New York which focused on some of the challenges faced by Georgia sheriffs.

The roundtable took place at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and was titled, "In Focus: Exploring the Challenges and Related Implications Facing Georgia Sheriffs." Dr. Brian N. Williams, associate professor of public administration and policy at the University of Georgia moderated the discussion based on findings of a Sheriff's Association survey.

According to the survey, the top three issues facing sheriff's offices across the state were: mental health issues; reduced budgets and the resulting financial stress impacting the office; and illegal drugs and the related impact.

Among other problems of importance identified were overcrowding, understaffing or other staff management issues, difficult political environments at both state and local levels due to declines in tax revenue and the appropriation of needed funds and criminal issues within the jail.

Brown highlighted some unique challenges facing Newton County including explosive population growth, increasing demands for health services, problems administering the "do more with less environment," and more.