New promotions process for Muscogee County Sheriff's deputies - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

New promotion process for Muscogee County Sheriff's deputies

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

The Muscogee County Sheriff's Office has thrown out what some call "the good ole' boy" system for promotions.

Major Randy Robertson says the Sheriff's Office enlisted the University of Georgia to help with a new hands-off promotion process. 

He explains about $30 thousand taxpayer dollars helped to put deputies through written tests and real life scenarios which were conducted by testers and law enforcement with no connection to our area. 

"It takes the factor of gender, race, seniority, and other things out of the mix."

In the end, a deputy receives a score that says they are highly promotable or not prepared.

Deputy Sharon Bruce and Technician Christopher Shanafelt are grateful for the new system and say the new process took some out of the box thinking.

"It's one thing that we have been asking for where there has been a test that everybody can go across the board and it's unbiased," said Bruce.

"It takes away the perception that maybe in the past it was kind of like a friends picking friends type thing," explained Shanafelt."

The new system came into existence months after three veteran female officers slapped Sheriff John Darr with a lawsuit claiming he was not promoting women.  However, Robertson says the new system has been in the works since the Sheriff was elected.

"I believe that [the election] was over 3 years ago.  So, it really was nothing that's occurred since he got elected that has had any impact on this," said Robertson.

He says it will help prevent lawsuits in the future.

"If you're not on the list as ‘highly promotable' then it doesn't matter who you know, who your mom or dad may know, you're not going to be next in line to be promoted," said Robertson.

Some Muscogee County deputies just finished the testing on Thursday.  Maj. Robertson says the results should be available for the sheriff by next week.

Copyright 2011 WTVM. All rights reserved.

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