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DeKalb sheriff talks priorities, goals following election
by Christine Fonville
August 05, 2014 10:44 AM | 3880 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Katherine Frye /
From left, Deputy Sheriff Cinnamon Kizer discusses visitor protocol at The DeKalb County Jail with Sheriff Jeff Mann.
Staff / Katherine Frye / From left, Deputy Sheriff Cinnamon Kizer discusses visitor protocol at The DeKalb County Jail with Sheriff Jeff Mann.
After the runoff elections in DeKalb County last month, Sheriff Jeff Mann said he is ready to keep serving the public and focusing on important improvements for officers, inmates and citizens.

Mann took a sweeping victory against his opponent, Vernon Jones, and gained about 76 percent of the 53,090 votes.

He said he owes his win to dedicated supporters and volunteers as well as the hard work and forward, positive momentum the county has seen in the past decade.

“I was very pleased with the campaign process as this was the first election I ran in myself,” said Mann, who was initially appointed on an interim basis by former Sheriff Tom Brown who left to run for Congress. “Energetic and enthusiastic is how I would describe my supporters. I was fortunate to have a great group of endorsers that included former sheriffs, former and current CEOs and commissioners.”

Mann said he wanted to build upon three main issues he focused on throughout his campaign — increased pay for correctional officers, improving inmate programs and technological advancements.

“[DeKalb County] has been one of lowest paying corrections facilities in the metro area and we wanted to increase pay for our corrections officers in order to attract and retain them in our community,” he said. “We’re understaffed and being a corrections officer is the toughest job in the sheriff’s office, so I was pleased that the board of commissioners passed a 3 percent pay raise across board for all county employees, but then I was able to negotiate with them to get an additional 5 percent for corrections officers.”

The 8 percent pay increase, Mann said, was the start of improving conditions for corrections officers in the county, but continued pay increases and working to improve other areas such as training will continue to be an important issue.

“I also intend to work on beefing up our inmate programs, including expanding upon drug and alcohol treatment programs, mental health treatment programs and vocational training programs,” he said. “In the last three or four years we’ve experienced a number of technological improvements to our department as well, which I will continue to focus on to gain greater efficiencies in the sheriff’s office.”

Mann said although the sheriff’s office has experienced controversy in the past, he intends to continue to build the trust of the public and restore confidence in the department.

“We’ve restored a lot of what had been broken in the past in the sheriff’s office,” he said. “When [former] Sheriff Brown came in and brought me in, the morale of the people and employees was low, but we slowly and methodically built up the trust of the public and restored confidence in this department. It’s a great organization and I want to continue to build upon that.”

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