Robert Hare courthouse courtesy

Robert Hare, running for Clarke County Sheriff, stands in front of Athens-Clarke County Courthouse. (Courtesy Robert Hare)

Robert Hare, who has worked with the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office for nine years, has announced his campaign for Clarke County Sheriff against incumbent Ira Edwards in an email to The Red & Black on Feb. 6.

Hare has worked as a law enforcement officer at multiple agencies including the U.S. Marine Corps for over 17 years. He has been promoted through the rank of sergeant and has worked in the jail, courts and warrants areas of the sheriff’s office, according to the email.

Hare joins John Q. Williams in the race to replace Edwards as sheriff, who has been in the position for almost two decades.

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office has undergone three audits since 1998, with the last two under Edwards, according to Hare’s email. “The issues are nearly the same and the solutions have also been the same – little to no improvement,” Hare stated in the email.

Hare hopes to address these concerns with a platform focused on reforms to training, safety, overtime work and improved morale.

“It takes more than transparency to successfully run a law enforcement agency. It takes addressing long standing problems openly, being available to the deputies and community,” he said in the email.

He plans to improve what he calls inadequate training by expanding the training department and creating more live training, according to the email. Hare plans to improve safety by equipping all deputies with an outerwear vest and by adding another deputy to the front lobby post in the courthouse during the day. Hare would require all “program volunteers” to show sheriff’s office-issued identification and be searched each time they enter the jail.

Hare’s other goals include creating a permanent recruitment team, according to the email. He also plans to end time adjustment for overtime pay and said deputies' requests for time adjustment in place of overtime pay ”will be at their discretion.”

Hare also wants to improve morale.

“I can promise each and every single member of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office – the days of favoritism, clicks, good ole boy system, whatever you want to call it, will be over when I take office. If you want it – earn it!” he said in the email.

He will hold an announcement celebration at the Athens-Clarke County Library on Baxter Street on Feb. 12 from 6-8 p.m., according to the email.

Correction: A previous version of this story said Hare announced his campaign in an email to The Red & Black on Jan. 6, but it was actually on Feb. 6. The Red & Black regrets this error, and it has since been fixed.

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