Levett names transition team

CONYERS -- Rockdale County Sheriff-elect Eric Levett has put together a team of public safety officials to act in an advisory role as he prepares to take office on Jan. 1.

According to a press release issued Thursday, the five-member team will be tasked with assessing the current state of the Sheriff's Office. Areas to be studied include organizational efficiency and structure, service delivery strategy, effectiveness in reducing crime, technology, employee morale, employee safety, equipment, vehicles, assignments, training and policies and procedures.

Team members are Beverly Thomas, division chair for the Georgia Piedmont Technical College -- Health, Public Safety and Security Division; Steve Edwards, special agent in charge (retired), Georgia Bureau of Investigation; Major Jeff Norman, Henry County Sheriff's Office; Lt. Tyrone Oliver, Newton County Sheriff's Office; and Jonathon Fuss, instructor, Georgia Public Safety Training Center.

"I have a top-notch transition team in place that is working to assess the operations of the Rockdale Sheriff's Office," Levett said in the press release. "Each team member is bringing a high level of expertise to help make this transition smooth."

Levett's chief deputy, Scott Freeman, said the five are serving in a completely voluntary capacity and will not be compensated for their work.

"They are donating their time for the good of Rockdale County in general," Freeman said. "There is no compensation, no budget set; the only thing they will be using is their own time and any documents or records that would help them with their task. We will be working very closely with them to get them everything they need to do a very thorough top-down assessment."

Freeman said team members will be analyzing operational and structural efficiencies and will not be involved with any disciplinary or policy issues.

"Anything that would be considered confidential, obviously, would not be released (to them)," Freeman said. "There are certain things they would have access to -- anything the general public would have access to -- but anything considered confidential or personal-related would not be released."

The goal for the team is to "get a snapshot of where the organization is and (determine) how do we move forward from here in the next year to achieve our main objectives and goals," said Freeman.

The team will not begin working on-site at the Sheriff's Office until after Jan. 1. The assessment is expected to be completed by March.

Each team member brings a specific set of skills to the task, said Freeman.

"All of the team members will really bring a lot to the table, and we are very fortunate that they are willing to dedicate and allocate their time for what we consider to be a very worthy cause."

The team will also review the potential benefits of pursuing accreditations from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies and the Commission on Accreditation for Corrections. The Sheriff's Office is already state certified.