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ELECTION 2012: Reggie Rachals - Lee County sheriff

Rachals running on 'working sheriff' record

Reggie Rachals

Reggie Rachals

Age: 51

Occupation: Lee County sheriff

Post Sought: Lee County sheriff (re-election)

Family: Wife, Melissa; adult daughters, Danielle Rudd and LSO Cpl. Daphne Lindsey

Key Issues: Incorporate latest technology into department; Develop more education programs; Maintain professional relationships with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies

LEESBURG, Ga. -- Incumbent Lee County Sheriff Reggie Rachals is not given to blowing his own horn. But the people who know him best point to decisions Rachals has made during his sometimes bitter campaign for re-election as evidence of his primary interest.

Asked about claims made by supporters, Rachals acknowledged, "Yes, there were times when I had campaign events scheduled that I had to miss them because I was out on calls. I was elected to be a working sheriff, and that's my first priority."

To read more about Reggie Rachals' opponent, David Cheshire, click here.

During a conversation, Rachals offers evidence to support his claim as he mentions the department's accomplishments during his first four-year term in office:

  • Created a women's firearm and community safety classes;
  • Received GBI award for best new state agency for Internet Crimes Against Children;
  • Increased training for sheriff's office employees and opened in-service training to surrounding agencies;
  • Implemented Taser and impact weapon certification for deputies and jailers;
  • Formed mutual professional relationships with area, state and national agencies, including the GBI, FBI, DEA and NCIS;
  • Implemented new highway safety programs;
  • Increased patrols countywide;
  • Increased jail security by creating a more secure receiving area and replacing outdated camera system;
  • Saved county money by using inmate labor for work at county facilities.

"I don't like the negative way the campaign has gone at times," Rachals said. "I've taken the high road and run on the platform of making the citizens of Lee County as safe as possible. I have yet to see a platform from my opponent.

"I don't believe the citizens of this county want that kind of politics. That's why I've run this race on my record and plan to take this department forward beyond even where we are now."

Rachals began his 30-year law enforcement career as a beat officer in Albany in 1982. He made the decision to move to Lee County in 1989 when then-Sheriff Harold Breeden recruited him as a deputy. Rachals ran against Breeden in 2008 and surprised many by unseating the longtime sheriff.

He's spent the four years of his term in office reorganizing the department and implementing as much new technology as possible.

"Lee County has come a long ways in the last several years," Rachals said of the fastest-growing county in south Georgia. "I believe the sheriff's department has come a long ways, too. We've provided enhanced training for our deputies in new technology, but we've also rebuilt relationships with law enforcement agencies in Dougherty, Terrell, Sumter and Worth counties.

"Crime does not stop at the county lines. In fact, I believe the crime in Albany and Dougherty County has started to spill over into Lee County. With the terrible economy and people looking for any means to make money, I believe (criminals) will make their way to a more affluent area. And, in this region, that's Lee County."

The sitting Lee sheriff, who is being challenged in Tuesday's Republican primary by former deputy David Cheshire, said law enforcement is in his blood.

"I was sitting at a Fourth of July celebration at Hugh Mills Stadium (in Albany) a long time ago, and I saw an officer helping someone," he said. "I decided that's what I wanted to do, to help people. That's still what I want to do, and I love doing it."

Comments

Hoodie 2 years ago

All the sudden making drug arrest during election time....Just like his teacher Harold Breeden

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

Lee County voters, pay attention. This guy has hired his family and tossed unbidded contracts to his family with taxpayer funds. You better find a way to nip this in the bud. Sheriffs in Georgia have a dictatorial fiefdom and you better take this to heart.

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Shinedownfan 2 years ago

You got my vote, Reggie, and my husband's and my daughter's. :)

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albanyherald1 2 years ago

I don't have a problem with him hiring his family, as long as they do their job like everyone else employed there. Wish they could come up with something a little more substantial to try to make me change my mind on voting for Reggie. I think he has done a good job and will continue to do a good job. All I have seen from Cheshire's side is mud slinging and redneck behavior from his supporters.

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beenhereawhile 2 years ago

I am not in Lee County, but I don't like this guy's statement that "crime in Albany and Dougherty is spilling over into Lee County". You think you don't have criminals in Lee County? Or maybe its just that the dealers in Albany are going to where there customers are.

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Jacob 2 years ago

What planet are you living on? Seriously, you got offended because someone pointed out the plain truth regarding crime rates in Lee vs. Dougherty County? Wow. Ron White was right....

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tkrayburn 2 years ago

Way to go Reggie for taking the high road! It is such a breath of fresh air to see that someone can rise above the mud-slinging. Reggie is an honorable man and has made decisions based on his knowledge and experience. He see's the whole picture when he makes the decisions and will not always please everyone. If David Cheshire has Lee County's best interest at heart, then why is he attacking Reggie instead of telling us what he stands for. Reggie is a class act and someone I admire very much.

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fairisfair 2 years ago

two "ADULT" children....what a nice play on words The office of Sheriff requires a person with high standards

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Hoodie 2 years ago

The Office of Sheriff requires someone not scared to have a forum with another person that is questioning his High Standards.......

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Cartman 2 years ago

Reggie has done a great job since he has been in office.

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Hoodie 2 years ago

His heads so big he can't get into a patrol car anymore...

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The_Dude 2 years ago

While the other can't get by on his own work so he resorts to throwing around accusations that have been refuted. I think I can live with a big head.

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Hoodie 2 years ago

Lee County Sheriff's Department has replaced 72 employees in three and one half years. Can anyone give me a ball park estimate what training costs have been for "replacement" employees???? Appx. two new employees each month is "mind-boggeling" to me.

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FryarTuk 2 years ago

He admitted hiring his two relatives and tossing the contract to a family member. How many in Lee County would have competed for the jobs and work in fair competition? It speaks to honesty and ethics nothing more greater in public trust. Don't skate over the issues. Dealing with issues is not mudslinging that is the great value of a democratic election. Office holders have a fiduciary responsibility to provide efficient, honest and open management of citizens' money and trusts.

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dirtylee 2 years ago

Sounds like you got rid of the right employees when you took office. They are the one's behind the trash talking. So lee county dont vote for someone who would hire trash back at the department

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Hoodie 2 years ago

Refuted where? He won't even debate the man that's hiding..... I'm not voting for either I'm writing in a vote Still step up and account for your mistakes

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The_Dude 2 years ago

It was refuted by Rachals in the paper. I read it. Not my fault you didn't.

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dirtylee 2 years ago

Big head is better than a sorry a## and if david gets office thats what the county will end up with.

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