Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle recently promoted three officers to new leadership positions in the agency's uniform patrol and criminal investigation divisions.
The promotions of Maj. Tony Wooten, Capt. Ray Goodie and Lt. Dan Ramsey took effect last month. They are an extension of Carlisle's two-year plan to streamline departmental operations and better provide top-notch police services to the community.
Wooten oversees a staff of more than 50 certified officers and civilian employees in the uniform patrol, criminal investigations and 911 communications divisions.
"Two years ago, when the sheriff and Lt. Col. John Cagle, our under-sheriff, made a decision to combine investigations into one unit ... it's paid off with crime reduction," Wooten said.
"Our people are communicating within their same division. They are separate units, but there are more opportunities to work together and for sharing information."
Wooten, a 15-year employee who began his law enforcement career as a jailer at the Dawson County Detention Center, also supervises school resource officers, oversees community programs and serves as the agency's spokesman.
As the joint division's assistant commander, Goodie will continue to manage the criminal investigations unit, but will also take a more hands-on role with patrol.
A Dawson County High School graduate, he joined the sheriff's office in 2004 after six years in the U.S. Army.
Ramsey, who has been with the department for 10 years, will supervise the criminal investigations division. A U.S. Army veteran, he previously worked for the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.
Carlisle said combining the units has resulted in lower crimes rates across the county, especially in street crime such as thefts, burglaries and entering autos, which have been reduced by about 40 percent in the last two years.
"We put them all under one umbrella and they work together," the sheriff said. "And they can utilize each other's services.
"If patrol takes a report about a theft, then it goes to CID, and the investigator can go back to the patrol officer when he develops a lead. They're already out there patrolling so it's streamlined, efficient and has been successful."
According to Wooten, the department also has one of the nation's highest solve ratings for criminal investigations, nearly three times higher than it was two years ago.
"For us, our plan is continuing on the success we've already had and build on that success," he said. "The goal is to continue to provide the quality of services that we've been providing to the community."