James “JT” Brown needs to be the subsequent Fulton County Sheriff

Brown joined the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace in 1986 following his commencement from Morehouse School in 1985. Picture by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice

Fulton County Sheriff candidate James “JT” Brown has a plan. In actual fact, the now-retired veteran regulation enforcement officer has a three-step plan to return the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace (FCSO) to what he believed had been its former lofty heights of respectability and effectivity. Today, you may Google the mix of “Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace” and “Atlanta 2023” and a plethora of tales and posts on probes into the Fulton County Jail, detention officer arrests, and unhealthy opinions on working on the jail. 

On a Friday morning contained in the places of work of The Atlanta Voice Brown took his badge out of the breast pocket of his navy blue swimsuit. He retired in December 2022 so nowadays his FCSO badge reads “retired”, however he nonetheless retains it shut. After 37 years with the division, the extent of pleasure he as soon as had within the badge has modified.

“My badge is tarnished,” mentioned Brown, tapping the badge along with his proper index finger. “What’s happening within the jail, the atrocities, we’re speaking a couple of managed setting. How are folks dying in a managed setting when you have got an nearly quarter-billion-dollar finances?” 

The plan is easy, says Brown. It consists of the “Three D’s”, he defined. “Deaths, {dollars}, and diversion.” Concerning the a number of deaths which have taken place inside the Fulton County Jail the previous few years throughout present FCSO Sheriff Patrick Labat’s first time period as sheriff, Brown mentioned, “We’re going to appropriate that drawback.” 

Final yr Brown and different retired division members who had been nonetheless on reserve helped with a shakedown on the jail. Having been gone for a yr, he was stunned at how issues appeared contained in the jail the place he as soon as labored. “We discovered 138 shanks on detainees that day,” he recalled. “I do know the county can do higher as a result of I noticed higher.” 

On the fiscal points which have taken place, Brown mentioned, “The fiscal administration is shot over there, so we’re going to appropriate that and ensure the finances is operating effectively and successfully.”  

The ultimate “D” within the plan requires applications that may concentrate on the youngest offenders. Brown frolicked within the FCSO warrant division and witnessed first-hand how an arrest can derail a younger man’s life. “That is what I heard from the children after we went to their home as a result of their dad and mom couldn’t deal with them, ‘Officer I dropped out of faculty as a result of I couldn’t learn’,” mentioned Brown, who believes the highway to petty crimes and in the end a visit to Rice Road oftentimes begins with not being in class. 

“I informed myself that if I ever obtained in cost I’d create a studying program for the youth, and would work with group companions so we are able to deliver the jail price down.” 

Brown and his spouse Monisha Brown have been married for 19 years. The couple have a son, Jordan, 18, (not proven) who’s following his father’s footsteps to Morehouse School. Picture by Kerri Phox/The Atlanta Voice

Brown has seen all of it after which some throughout his profession, which is totally with the FCSO. As a member of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace (FCSO) he not solely labored on the warrant division but additionally the extradition unit, and was elected to the Fulton County Grievance Board. Throughout his profession he additionally acquired coaching from the Nationwide Affiliation on Psychological Sickness (NAMI). 

“I’m a regulation enforcement CEO,” mentioned Brown, a Detroit native who graduated from Morehouse School in 1985 earlier than becoming a member of the FCSO in 1986, beginning his almost four-decade-long profession.  That profession and the academic experiences that befell throughout that point are what Brown’s supporters are saying which makes him the candidate to decide on. 

“We’ve to begin placing folks in workplace who carry character. That’s the problem,” mentioned Brown’s spouse of 19 years Monisha Brown. “My problem to voters is to ask across the county in regards to the reputations of all 4 candidates.” 

A kind of voters would be the couple’s 18-year-old son London. He will probably be voting for the primary time by the point the Could 12 main election takes place. A highschool senior who’s following in his father’s footsteps and will probably be headed to Morehouse School within the fall, London mentioned his father’s character performed an enormous half in incomes his future vote. In an interview with The Atlanta Voice final week, the student-athlete mentioned Brown needed to earn his vote like every other candidate would have needed to. “I see myself as a median voter and never JT Brown’s son,” he mentioned. “The best way he has to persuade everybody else to vote for him, he has to do the identical for me.”

London remembered an alternate between the 2 when he requested his father what he was planning on doing if elected and what he was planning to alter. 

“He needs to alter the picture of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace,” London recalled. “From what he informed me I informed him he had my vote. I don’t see myself voting for JT Brown, my father, I see myself as a median voter voting for one of the best candidate who I consider goes to do what he must do to repair the Fulton County Sheriff’s Workplace.” 

If popularity and expertise will outline who the subsequent Fulton County Sheriff is, Brown believes he’ll win. All these years working at varied ranges of the division have led him to this second, he mentioned. 

“I can win the election as a result of I’m probably the most approachable; the residents know me. I did plenty of group service. My schooling, my coaching, I’ve each regulation enforcement certification there’s as a result of I wished to ensure I used to be certified to do the job as an alternative of simply studying it after I obtained there.” 

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