Sheriff accused of falsifying records

A video on the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page late Tuesday shows Sheriff Alfonzo Williams explaining that a recent investigation stems from him mistakenly uploading an incorrect date.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation looked into accusations that include claims that Williams falsified records.

An investigation stems from the WPD stating that Williams may have falsified records showing that Waynesboro Police Department Officer Gary Jenkins completed required law enforcement classes last year through the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (P.O.S.T.).

P.O.S.T. was established in 1970 by the Georgia General Assembly as a regulatory body. The composition of the Council, its power, and its function is established in the Official Code of Georgia, Annotated. The Council is responsible for the certification and regulation of Georgia’s peace officers and other various public safety personnel. Additionally, POST is responsible for establishing the minimum training standards and curriculum of the personnel certified by the agency, according to their website.

However, according to an anonymous source, the investigation just may be a witch hunt since it is believed that Jenkins actually completed the courses. The completion of the classes in 2022 would have affected his officer certification for 2023 and would not affect any arrests Jenkins made last year. Jenkins’ credentials for 2022 would have been based on classes completed in 2021.

The City went tight-lipped after the WPD posted a media release on their Facebook page last week involving an ongoing investigation by the GBI.

“In January 2023, some irregularities were noticed with a now former employee’s training record. Waynesboro Police Department notified the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to look into the matter,” the media release states.

However, an open records request made by The True Citizen last week asking for correspondence between the WPD and the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council was denied. Instead, the city supplied WPD Officer Gary Jenkins’ letter of resignation effective February 13.

Patrick Morgan, GBI Special Agent, confirmed Tuesday, February 21 that allegations were made involving irregularities in training records at the WPD. He also confirmed the GBI is involved in an active investigation into the matter.

“Waynesboro Police Department demands integrity in all of our employees and takes the state training requirements seriously. We will continue to serve our citizens with honor and integrity. We will cooperate with all investigative authorities concerning this situation. The Waynesboro Police Department thanks you all in advance for your support and patience during this investigation,” the rest of the WPD media release states.

WPD Chief Willie Burley confirmed Tuesday that Jenkins is the only WPD officer under investigation, and stated that the report of irregularities in training records was made the week of January 9-13, 2023.

Although not confirmed, it was reported by multiple sources that the GBI was at the BCSO Monday.

Columnist Ben Roberts wrote this week that POST training records show Jenkins took two 2-hour courses December 29, 2022. The classes had only one other attendee besides Jenkins, Deputy Coroner Mary Bennett who has served in law enforcement for more than 45 years.

Bennett assured The True Citizen Tuesday that she and Jenkins rightfully completed the courses and doesn’t understand what the GBI is investigating. Bennett said the GBI has not reached out to her as part of any investigation.

During the Facebook video, Williams maintaned that he provided Jenkins with the necessary training as is typical of many officers.

“I gave him handouts of the lesson plan and I went over the material with him according to P.O.S.T. standards,” Williams stated.


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