There is no “typical” work day for a deputy sheriff in Gordon County. Deputies respond to reports of crime routinely, most of which does not involve violent felonies. Warrants, writs, and subpoenas are served, inmates are transported to and from the courthouse, and the roads patrolled with the objective of preventing crime. A high profile, or “presence” is after all the best deterrent to crime. Cars are stopped for traffic violations, although in 2015 only 1 stop in 6 resulted in a citation being issued. A warning is normally all that is necessary, and the citizens usually thank the deputy. A misconception about law enforcement officers is that their entire day is spent chasing after and apprehending criminals. In reality a myriad of service calls such as: 911 ‘hang ups’, children or elderly persons who’ve wandered away, suspicious persons or automobiles, unsafe road conditions, burglary alarms (particularly common in thunderstorms), downed trees or power lines, welfare checks, livestock running at large, and disabled motorists account for over 60% of all requests-for-service. You’re as likely to see a deputy sheriff changing a flat tire as handcuffing a suspect.
Requests-for-service, or “calls” tend to be received in proportion to population and traffic volume. In other words, the more people or automobiles in any given location in the county, the more calls are received. For instance, deputy sheriffs respond to over 200 E911 calls on Interstate 75 each month. To be sure, there are dangerous calls of crimes in progress, but the good outweighs the bad. Sheriff Ralston said, “First and foremost, the Sheriff’s Office provides a service to our community, keeping us safe. While that often involves arresting and prosecuting violators, it’s also a hundred little things, like checking in on elderly or shut-in neighbors, or getting someone a fuel can and a lift back to their car when they’ve ran out of gas. We really do practice community policing, and we never lose sight that our role is to serve as well as protect.