Gazzara Ricardo Hill is a candidate for Henry County Sheriff. He will appear in the upcoming Democratic Primary on June 9, 2020.
Locust Grove News provided each Sheriff candidate with a questionnaire. The community page has shared each candidate’s responses with Moving Henry Forward for inclusion on our website.
Responses have been reprinted as they were received without any edits for grammar or spelling.
1.) What do you plan to accomplish in your first 30 days? In your first year?
My plans for the first 30 days include meeting with all employees of the Sheriff Department to introduce myself. In order to foster better communication, I will follow-up with listening session’s setup by divisions and/or shifts to establish and obtain open, honest dialogues and feedback of the staff’s concerns. I also will identify the department’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (S.W.O.T.) by using this proven analysis. I further believe it is vitally important to ensure the employees know and understand that I consider all staff as the County’s most valuable resources and with team effort we can ensure our work environment is better and safe for all. After the introductions, listening meetings, and feedback sessions, I will establish a realistic assessment plan with benchmarks consisting of activities, outcomes and outputs to meet our goals and address the S.W.O.T analysis. Lastly, I will establish my command staff and start implementation of the assessment plan with measurable results.
Within my first year, I will establish an open door policy for all staff. When our assessment plan is fully executed by using best practices and lessons learned throughout the year we will be able to make more informed decisions on which way to lead our department to a better 21st century Sheriff Department.
2.) What do you think is the most important skill of being an excellent Sheriff?
An excellent Sheriff should possess positive leadership skills coupled with servanthood that is community-oriented that represents all the people. Also, the Sheriff should have effective communication skills that involves active listening. Furthermore, an excellent Sheriff should be proactive, transparent, have integrity, be accountable and is a good steward over county assets by being fiscally responsible with taxpayer’s dollars.
3.) What is the biggest need of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department now and what would you do to fill that need?
The Sheriff Department can better serve its community by being more engaged with the community through crime prevention education and assisting in law enforcement. I would create a Community Affairs Division to educate, enhance citizens’ quality of life and develop positive relationships between the sheriff department and our communities, other agencies, local businesses, faith-based organizations, youth and senior adults.
4.) What specific managerial/leadership experiences do you have that qualify you for this job?
I presently serve as Senior Pastor of a McDonough congregation for 6+ years with a total of 23+ years as a Senior Pastor and the Commander (Police Captain) for Sector 1 Precinct in a local agency. I have managed many budgets throughout my pastoral experience: to include new building projects, writing bylaws and heading a 501c3 status.I am currently employed by a local county police department with 13 years of progressive experience serving in various positions managing staff of 30+ officers.
I have served in the following capacities:
- Sergeant in the Traffic Unit.
- Sergeant in the Community Affairs Unit.
- Sergeant in the Uniform Patrol Division.
- Shift Commander (Lieutenant) in Uniform Patrol Division.
- Atlanta Hartsfield Airport Narcotic Interdiction Unit Commander.
- Academy Director over the Training Unit. (First African American appointed by the Chief).
- Sector Commander (currently).
- Associate of Arts in Business Administration.
- Bachelors of Science in Criminal Justice.
- Master of Arts in Leadership.
- Master in Divinity.
- 4000+ in-service hours of law enforcement training.
- Assistant Team Leader of a Special Weapon and Tactic Team (SWAT)
- General Instructor, Firearms Instructor and Defensive Tactics Instructor.
- Peace Officer Standard Training Council (P.O.S.T.) Supervision and Managerial Certificates.
- Served as Petty Officer 2nd Class in the United States Navy (1986-1989).
- Served as a Worshipful Master in a local masonic lodge.
- Currently, serving as a Chaplain of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.
5.) Why are you the best man for the job?
My extensive training and work experience in law enforcement over the past 31+ years with various entities serving as Correctional Officer, City Police Officer, Deputy, County Police Officer and State Trooper along with my time serving our country has given me insight to the needs of all people.
My lifelong commitment as a public servant, proven ability of leadership and community-oriented displays I am the best man for the job to raise the standard for higher level of service to the community.
There is a permissive will and there is a perfect will and I believe that this is my season to lead the great people of Henry County. I will be a Sheriff for all the people regardless of their status, creed, nationality or color.
My work experiences have been a very humbling journey for me. I never imagined that I would be so blessed to be in the position I am in today. That being said, I will live up to my slogan, “A Sheriff You Can Reach.” This slogan came to me because many people in my life reach down to help me and I will pass it forward as much as I can.
In closing, my experiences has made me a very well-rounded lawman, my education and with God in front makes me the best man for the job for this season.