FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — Rick Doyle brings a mix of business and law enforcement experience to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. In January, he was sworn into the sheriff’s office new command staff as director of operations to help lead the office in a new direction.
In the transition to new Sheriff Duane Piper, Doyle says the office can expect a strong business approach when it comes to managing finances and efficiency of staff.
But the initial plan is to observe, Doyle told the Forsyth Herald, so everything can be streamlined.
“We’re looking at a major restructuring,” Doyle said. “That’s going to be based on all our findings, including feedback from the employees.”
Doyle said the reason behind the restructuring will be to improve efficiency in the sheriff’s office and bring a fresh perspective to the organization.
As far as reaching the public with information, Doyle wants to add an emphasis in communication to handle media and public inquiries through all means, including social media.
“This is a public agency and we are here for the citizens,” Doyle said. “We want to have that open dialogue back and forth.”
SCHOOL RESOURCE OFFICERS
Even before the Newtown, Conn., school massacre, one of Sheriff Piper’s campaign platforms was to increase the number of deputies at schools from seven to 14 and cover middle and high schools. At elementary schools Piper has said he would like deputies to develop better relationships with school leaders.
“We have immediately identified areas where we can reassign people without having to increase staffing,” Doyle said.
JAIL AND COURTHOUSE
Another challenge for the office is the construction of the new Forsyth County Jail that the Piper administration has taken over.
“We are looking forward to making this a collaborative successful project,” Doyle said.
From parking, site and new staffing expenses, Doyle said this will be an issue the Piper administration will handle.
There are about nine openings for deputies that the office wants to fill and train to bring the jail up to full staff.
Doyle said the office will be working with staff in setting future goals of the office.
Doyle said he will focus on giving deputies resources they need to better fulfill their duties and ongoing training.
The employee evaluation process is also getting a closer look.
“We are looking at the entire agency and soliciting their feedback,” Doyle said. “We are having some great input on things we hadn’t even thought about. We are also going to be big on career development. You don’t get into law enforcement for the money or the hours. We want to give these folks a career path and a direction they can better themselves and if they want to move to a specialized unit down the road, we can start grooming them now.”
READY FOR THE TASK
Doyle, who has a home in Milton, had worked in the sheriff’s office from 2002-04 as a uniformed deputy. He comes from a family with long ties to law enforcement and after the Sept. 11 attacks, he decided it was time he join the sheriff’s office, retiring his position as southeast region network vice president for Aetna in Alpharetta.
“My wife is incredible and very supportive,” he said. “I wanted to do this as a reserve and volunteer to the community. But I decided to do this full time to learn it. In law enforcement, you really have to do it for years to become proficient in it.”
After two years, he was asked by Humana to help out its Tampa, Fla. operations. While in Florida, Doyle continued his law enforcement calling and worked part-time with the Belleair Police Department and also worked to provide consulting services to start-up medical and insurance companies.
Piper called Doyle in October 2011 and told him his interest in running for sheriff and asked if he would return to Forsyth.
“Law enforcement is passion to me and business is a passion, so this job is ideal,” Doyle said. “It’s about 80 percent business and 20 percent law enforcement. I’m able to apply both passions. I’m so excited about being involved in making these changes and decisions. I understand it from the street level all the way up to the administration level.”