Humphries named Chief Deputy
The December deaths of two cornerstones of the Jones County Sheriff’s Office necessitated changes within the department and became a catalyst for several promotions.
The sheriff’s office lost Chief Deputy Barbara Burnette Dec. 17 and Capt. Jimmy Black Dec. 25, both following courageous battles with cancer, creating vacuums in the leadership of their departments.
Sheriff Butch Reece stated in a Jan. 28 interview about the changes and promotions within the department that he always knew that Burnette and Black were hard workers, but he had no idea how much they did until they were gone.
“If we had 12-hour days, they worked 16. We are working hard to fill their roles,” he said.
The promotion of the former supervisor of investigations, Maj. Earl Humphries, to the rank of Chief Deputy was formally announced Jan. 28. Humphries had been filling the position for several weeks, but Reece made it official that Friday.
As Chief Deputy, Humphries is the second in command for the Sheriff’s Department.
Humphries said he began his career in law enforcement in 1985, at age 19, right out of the Army.
He started as a dispatcher in the radio room and became a patrol officer in 1986. He moved to investigations in 1988 and became supervisor of investigations in 1990. The chief deputy served as a POST certified firearms instructor for the department and handled all recertifications for deputy sheriffs. He is a 1993 graduate of the National F.B.I. Academy in Quantico, Virginia.
More promotions within the department have been announced on the JCSO Facebook page with the sheriffs congratulations to each of them.
Jan. 7 announcements
Reece announced the promotion of patrol officer Bobby Land to sergeant. Land began his career in 1992 at Forsyth P.D. before becoming a Jones County patrol officer from 1984 to 1986. Since then, Land worked for the Monroe, Putnam County Sheriff’s Offices and the Pike County Sheriffs Office as a Chaplain before returning to Jones County.
Lt. Wesley Ransom began his career in law enforcement in 2009 at Georgia College and State University, followed by the Greene County Sheriffs Office. He came to work for the JCSO in 2014. He was promoted to sergeant in September of 2020 and to lieutenant Jan. 7.
Capt. Travis Douglas has spent his entire law enforcement career at the JCSO beginning in June of1999. Douglas started out in Jones County, splitting his time as both a dispatcher and a jail officer before becoming a patrol officer. He worked his way up to a lieutenant in the Patrol Division and he is now running the Patrol Division.
Jan. 21 announcements
Former Lt. Shane Moody was promoted to the rank of captain, and Sgt. Charleen Banks was promoted to the rank of lieutenant.
Moody is a 23-year veteran of the JCSO having started in November of1997 following a couple years with the Georgia Department of Corrections. Moody will be primarily responsible for the E-911 Center.
Banks has been with the JCSO for nine years as a Communications Officer. She will primarily be responsible for supervising the Communication Officers. She is currently in training to become the department’s first certified Communications Training Officer.
Reece said Banks has always shown a professionalism and work ethic that has led her to where she is today.
“I expect that to continue for both Lt. Banks and Capt. Moody,” the sheriff said.
Jan. 28 announcements
Jail Officer Crystal Rockmore-Pitts has been employed by the JCSO since June 17, 2019, and was promoted to rank of sergeant. Pitts was called to the training room by Humphries and surprised by her promotion and the presentation of her stripes.
The sheriff also announced Jan. 28 that, due to the departure ofjail supervisor Capt. Grover Murray, Moody would be assuming the responsibility of the jail in addition to the E-911 Center.
Reece and Humphries noted that, with the current atmosphere concerning law enforcement, it is difficult to find good officers. The sheriff said the JCSO is currently hiring. They are short at least one dispatcher and three deputies.
Humphries said, despite that challenge, Jones County is fortunate.
“We have good folks in all our departments,” he said.