New Lee sheriff considers policy, personnel - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New Lee sheriff considers policy, personnel

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Reggie Rachals celebrates his victory over incumbent Harold Breeden Tuesday night Reggie Rachals celebrates his victory over incumbent Harold Breeden Tuesday night

By Jennifer Emert - bio | email

July 17, 2008

LEESBURG, GA (WALB) - Big shakeups in this week's elections will possibly mean job changes for a lot of people.  At least eight counties will have new sheriffs, maybe 13 depending on runoff races.

And when those new top law enforcement officers take over, they'll likely make personnel changes. That means dozens of deputies' jobs are hanging in the  balance.

Lee County's Sheriff-elect says while he doesn't plan sweeping changes, there will be some hirings and firings.

Reggie Rachals stood along the Highway and went door to door asking Lee Countians to elect him Sheriff.  Tuesday, they did and now he's talking about what he'll do when he takes office in five months.  Rachals says he wants his office to be more involve in youth education programs.

"Working with the local Leesburg Police Department because they're getting the explorer program started back up and I want to work with them on that and going on up to the high school level with the real live pictures and actions and simulations showing them what can happen during drug and alcohol," Rachals says.

Rachals also hopes to get more money to run the Sheriff's offices. "I'm looking into more state and federal grants area for more equipment, not only for the road deputies but for the narcotic unit and the criminal investigators."

The question now is who will hold those positions.  It was last May when Rachals announced he would run, that his 18 years at the Sheriff's office ended, and he does plan to reorganize the department on his return.

"There will definitely be some revamping and realigning some positions because I've got to put people there that I can depend on to do the job that I need and make sure it's done properly."

The excitement from the election night win has turned into excitement about returning to the uniform and Rachals plans to keep employees as long as they'll work with him.

"I plan on working with all of them as long as they're willing to work with me, and under my command.  There will be some merit systems going on and evaluations and as long as you are doing your job, and doing it the way I think it needs to be done, sure, you'll continue to stay there," Rachals says

Rachals said for citizen's he'll have an open door policy and hopes to hear from many of them. 

Reggie Rachals is also a former Albany Police Officer.

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