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They begged him not to go. As soon as Waynesboro Police Chief Alfonzo Williams was named director of the rich­mond County tuition defense and safety department final week, calls, e-mails and pleas flooded in from his fatherland.

They begged him not to go. As soon as Waynesboro Police Chief Alfonzo Williams was once named director of the rich­mond County university safety and security division final week, calls, e-mails and pleas flooded in from his native land.

“He can’t go,” declared Ernest John­son, the proprietor of downtown Waynes­boro’s John­son Beau­ty and Barber. “He busted up all these drug issues, the gangs. The crime has all gone down for the reason that of him. All of us hate to look him go.”

Williams mentioned he sees a intent in taking his advantage to a tuition procedure that’s five occasions bigger than the city he has watched over for years. With a heritage in little one abuse and violent crime investigations, he believes he can convey a way of protection to colleges at a time when the nation is grappling with tuition shootings and bullying tragedies.

“If we’re going to resolve crime and poverty and homelessness and delinquency and abuse, we’ve acquired to begin with our kids,” Williams said. “This opportunity permits me to check out and function a mentor, to preserve dad and mom accountable and to aid repair our society.”

Williams, who will go on responsibility in early March, takes over for Patrick Clayton, who left in January to end up Richmond County Sheriff Richard Roundtree’s chief deputy.

Williams’ initial focal point can be to assess the safety of fundamental faculties and verify whether the division can add extra officers to these campuses. Best center and excessive colleges have full-time useful resource officers.

Williams said he needs his officers to furnish emotional and psychological help and to be visible as educators as an alternative than an oppressive force.

“yes, police officers function protection, but we additionally function mentors,” he stated.

Richmond County Board of Educa­tion member Jack Padgett stated the selection to pick Williams for the $96,000 function was once effortless, peculiarly after seeing his work in Waynesboro.

“He’s completed a good job, and we’d like him right here,” Padgett stated.

Williams grew up in Waynesboro’s housing projects with six siblings and his single mom, who he said used to be now not tolerant of any misbehaving or anything lower than B’s at institution. Because of that upbringing, some of his siblings grew to become assistant superintendent of Burke County schools and an assistant predominant.

Developing up knowing he’d certainly not want to do whatever however police work, Williams commenced his legislation enforcement career in 1990 with the Augusta Po­lice division. There he led the homicide investigation of Mary Colley Stewart, who used to be killed by way of a janitor in the building the place she labored and whose body was once dumped into a landfill.

Over the span of 21 years, he worked as the performing chief of the Waynes­boro Police division, an officer at the Columbia County Sheriff’s place of business, a instructor and director at the vicinity’s police academy, and an instructor at Augusta Technical college. In February 2011, he used to be employed as Waynes­boro’s police chief and right away enacted changes.

Williams created a citizens police academy and a residents on patrol software and put more officers on each shift to broaden police presence and fix with the community.

From 2010 to 2011, robberies dropped 62 percentage, burglaries 37 percentage and assaults 21 percentage. Armed robberies multiplied fairly in 2012, however Williams said there may be more believe between the group and the police than ever before.

Williams worked to raise professionalism in his department with the aid of growing coaching and keeping officers liable for additional time and sick go away abuses.

Before, there was no admire, he said. It was normal to peer residents throw rocks and bottles at patrol cars.

“This was an awfully stricken department, very embarrassing,” Williams said. “The crime culture was once in command of the city.”

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