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Williams eager to begin as first new Athens-Clarke sheriff in 20 years

John Q. Williams

By Joe Johnson

Athens –Clarke County will have a new sheriff for the first time in two decades.

Athens-Clarke County police Sgt. John Q. Williams on Tuesday handily defeated Republican Robert Hare, a sergeant in the sheriff's office, by a nearly 71-percent margin, garnering 34,059 votes to Hare’s 13,954.

The two faced off after Williams narrowly defeated five-time incumbent Ira Edwards Jr, in the June primary.

Though he won’t be sworn-in for another two months, Williams said he already was preparing for the job that oversees courthouse security, jail administration, and field operations, and coordinating with other local. State and federal law enforcement agencies.

“I can't wait to get started bringing this community together,” Williams said. “There are a lot of tasks to be done before I take office in January.

“I will start getting to know my staff as soon as possible, so I can assess who are leaders, and who are potential leaders,” he said.  “I will be reading each and every policy on the books to research areas for improvement. I want my staff to know they have a voice that will be heard.  The same goes for all of Clarke County.  I am a strong believer in the importance of relationships and teamwork. I am eager to get to work.”

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