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Sheriff Ezell Brown, a native of Blakely, Georgia, was elected the first African American Sheriff of Newton County, Georgia, on Nov. 4, 2008. He worked in law enforcement in Newton County for more than 35 years before being elected as the Sheriff. Currently, he has more than 45 years of law enforcement experience and oversees a full-service department of approximately 315 employees and more than 600 inmates.


Sheriff Brown began his career in law enforcement in 1973 as a patrolman with the Covington Police Department. In 1977, he joined the Newton County Sheriff’s Office where he was operative in every capacity of law enforcement; he demonstrated leadership through progressive supervisory experience.


Throughout his tenure in law enforcement, Sheriff Brown has received countless achievement awards, accolades, and distinctions in recognition of his service and community involvement. He is currently the Regional Vice President of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association, Region 2, representing all sheriffs in the metropolitan area and serves as the Chaplain for the Georgia Sheriff’s Association. He sits on the board of the Georgia Probation Subcommittee for the Council of Criminal Justice Reform. Additionally, he is on the Board of Directors for the Newton County Salvation Army and serves as an Executive Board Member for Georgia Piedmont Technical College.


Over the past 12 years, Sheriff Brown has produced substantial benchmarks for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office including: creation of an Office of Professional Standards (OPS) and Internal Affairs (IA) Division; achievement of state and national accreditation from National Commission of Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and American Correctional Association (ACA) for the Detention Center; receiving accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) and the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.  Additionally, we have been reaccredited by each agency.


Under the leadership of Sheriff Brown, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office obtained the elite status of becoming a Triple Crown Agency. There are 159 Sheriff’s Offices in the state of Georgia and more than 3000 in the United States.  It is noteworthy that Newton County Sheriff’s Office was one of first four in the state of Georgia and 53 in the United States to acquire this esteemed level of certification.  


Sheriff Brown is married to Janice Brown, and they are proud parents of five children and grandparents of seven.


Sheriff Brown’s accomplishments include:


  • Revitalizing the Neighborhood Watch Program (focus: bridge the gap between the community and NCSO)  

  • Implementing a Crime Watch Program (focus: include the community in responding to criminal activity)

  • Creating an Internal Affairs Division (focus: a strategic approach to maintaining and rewarding integrity of employees)

  • Creating an Office of Professional Standards Division (focus: to ensure compliance with Policies and Standard Operating Procedures)

  • Creating a Community Outreach Liaison (focus: enhance two-way communication)

  • Initiating the C.H.A.M.P.S (Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods while Promoting Safety) Program (focus: Newton County's Fifth graders)

  • Creating a Crime Suppression Unit (focus: quick response to criminal acts)

  • Creating Fleet Watch Program (2010) (focus: business involvement in fighting crime, observation)  

  • Creating a Drug Intervention Unit (focus: quick response to drug and other white-collar crimes)

  • Expanding the Crime Scene Investigation Unit (focus: enhance investigations of crime scenes )

  • Implementing 12 Hour Shifts (focus: increase the number of deputies on the road/ employees input on work schedules)

  • Creating a Fatherhood Program (focus: improve outcomes for inmates)

  • Purchasing an additional K-9 dog (focus: human tracking)

  • Purchasing an additional motorcycle for the traffic unit (focus: quick response and citizen support)

  • Developing Crime Analysis tracking (focus: tracking of crime trends/sharing of accurate information)

  • Improving the Sheriff’s Office web-site (focus: provision of user friendly, sex offender tracking, inmate information, crime trends, etc.)

  • Cross training Deputies as Public Information Officers (focus: keeping the public informed)

  • Initiating the Random Acts of Kindness (focus: giving back to the community)

  • Initiating the C.H.O.I.C.E.S. [Creating Healthy Options Increases Choices to Effective Solutions] Program (focus: improving outcomes for inmates)

  • Initiating the R.S.A.T. [Residential Substance Abuse Treatment] Program (focus: improving outcomes for inmates)

Sheriff Brown has accomplished these goals by using his employees’ individual talents and experiences without having to increase his personnel. Having to do more with less, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide the best quality service for its citizens.


Under Sheriff Brown's command, the Newton County Sheriff's Office received perfect scores during both accreditation and re-accreditation visits. The Sheriff's Office didn't just become a Triple Crown Agency but have proudly maintained this status, as demonstrated in these news clippings:


Newton County Sheriff’s Office receives American Correctional Accreditation recertification

The Rockdale Newton Citizen | Jan. 17, 2019

Members of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, accompanied by Newton County Commission Chairman Marcello Banes, recently traveled to New Orleans to attend the American Correctional Accreditation (ACA) conference to receive their recertification award.

NCSO received a perfect score of 100 across the board on all of ACA’s 300-plus standards during an onsite audit in November 2018.

Speaking at the Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday night, Banes said he was impressed with how other attending agencies as well as the auditors raved about the accomplishments of the NCSO and asked if outside agency members could sit in and observe the ACA panel questioning on Saturday, Jan. 12 with the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Ezell Brown told commissioners the session is private and usually closed to the public. However, he said, in an effort to provide valuable information to those aspiring to receive exceptional scores during the review process, the observation was allowed.

In addition to Sheriff Brown and Banes, those attending from Newton County were NCSO 1st Lt. Brice Smith, Lt. Selena Williams and Yvonne McMullen.

The NCSO received its initial ACA certification January 2016. At the conclusion of this month’s session, NCSO received a standing ovation from the crowd as well as the review panel. Other agencies have requested to shadow NCSO to aid them in their upcoming ACA review process.

“This was a promise I made during the initial campaign, for the attainment and maintaining of this accreditation document to be nationally accredited,” said Sheriff Brown. “There is no ‘I’ in teamwork, and we all worked together to make this achievement possible. At first, I did not consider this to be a big deal. However, as we listened to all the different counties from around the United States ask, ‘how did you do it, how did you score 100s across the board on over 300 plus standards?’ Not once was this asked, but twice. Then they requested to observe our paneling session and upon conclusion the room erupted in applause. That was an amazing sight to see. However, when many agencies begin to request to shadow the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, I knew then this accomplishment is truly a ‘Big Deal.’ Not only a ‘Big Deal’ to me, but a ‘Big Deal’ to the NCSO family, the community and Newton County as a whole. This is something worth achieving. On a daily basis we strive to meet the highest standards, and this award shows that we are doing a great job for the citizens of Newton County. It is an honor and privilege where jails and law enforcement services are recognized on state and national levels as a model facility. To the staff, I appreciate them believing in my leadership and following through with everything that is set before them in achieving Gold standards and at the highest-level Triple Crown status.”

The NCSO is a Triple Crown agency, having having received the Georgia State Certification, National Commission on Correctional Health Care accreditation, and American Correction Association accreditation.


Newton County Sheriff's Office earns correctional health care reaccreditation award

The Covington News | July 31, 2020

Sheriff Ezell Brown and the Newton County Sheriff’s Office were awarded their third National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) Reaccreditation Award during the Newton County Board of Commissioners meeting on July 21, 2020.


The Newton County Sheriff’s Office, in partnership with NaphCare, met 100% of the 37 essential standards and 19 important standards required to receive its third reaccreditation, effective June 11, 2020. 


“I am honored to stand in front of the Newton County Board of Commissioners this evening as the Office of the Sheriff receives its third reaccreditation award from the National Commission on Correctional Heath Care,” said Sheriff Brown. “I thank you, Chairman Banes, for allowing the Office of the Sheriff and our partners at NaphCare the time to discuss the important of this accreditation.”


Sheriff Brown added, “The National Commission on Correctional Heath Care accreditation is a component of the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award. We were meant to receive our third reaccreditation May 2 through May 5 of this year in Atlanta; however, it was cancelled due to COVID-19.”


The NCCHC accreditation provides the Newton County Sheriff’s Office with evidence of a standards-based system of care for inmates; improved health status and outcomes; and reduced public health risks when inmates reenter the community. There are 59 individual standards, with close to 400 compliance indicators, required for full accreditation. 


“We crossed a milestone on July 1, 2020, that marked 14 years of being the healthcare partner for the Newton County Jail,” said Bradford McLane, CEO of NaphCare. “We see a lot of jails across the country. Sheriff Brown runs one of the cleanest, best run jails in the country, hands down. He’s an amazing sheriff, and he has an amazing team.”


In February 2014, the Newton County Sheriff’s Office met the standards to be awarded its first accreditation by the NCCHC. There are an estimated 500 NCCHC accredited facilities out of 3,100 counties across the nation. 


The Newton County Sheriff’s Office was awarded the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award on June 26, 2017. A total of 48 facilities across the nation have obtained “Triple Crown” status, with 46 of those being Sheriff’s Offices. 


Out of the 159 Sheriff’s Offices in the state of Georgia, Newton County Sheriff’s Office is one of six to obtain “Triple Crown” status. 


To obtain the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award, agencies must obtain accreditation from the  Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), the American Correctional Association's Commission on Accreditation for Corrections (ACA) and the National Commission on Correctional Healthcare (NCCHC).


Newton County Sheriff's Office achieves state re-certification

Newton County Sheriff's Office | May 31, 2012

The Newton County Sheriff's Office has received accreditation from the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. The re-certification was presented to Sheriff Ezell Brown by Mark Bender, director of state certification, at the Newton County Board of Commissioners meeting last week. A special plaque was also presented to Sgt. Cortney Morrison for her work as the NCSO state certification manager. Bender said the certification manager is responsible for compiling all documentation and overseeing the arduous process of meeting certification standards.


Newton County Sheriff’s Office receives international accreditation for policies and practices

The Rockdale Newton Citizen | March 30, 2017

 The Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA) has presented the Newton County Sheriff’s Office with its official international accreditation. The designation represents a monumental professional achievement and it also confirms that the NCSO has policies and practices that are consistent with progressive professional international standards.

On March 25, 2017, Sheriff Ezell Brown, District 5 Commissioner Ronnie Cowan and staff went before the CALEA commission to receive the accreditation.

“We are extremely honored and proud to be accredited by CALEA,” Sheriff Brown said. “This reinforces the high standards that we expect from our personnel and shows that we are aligned with international guidelines. Receiving this accreditation will continue to instill greater public confidence in our agency and employees.”

The CALEA Accreditation award is valid for four years, and the agency is required to maintain continuous compliance during the award period. An assessment is conducted annually to ensure compliance is being maintained.

The accreditation process includes an on-site standards compliance assessment of the agency. The Sheriff’s Office welcomed CALEA on Nov. 28-30, 2016 to conduct the assessment. In the months after the audit was completed, a final assessment report was created.

During the assessors’ visit, Chief David Moen of the Auburn Police Department in Maine and Capt. Norman Mann of the St. Louis County Police Department in Missouri toured and assessed the facility through audits, reviews, hearings and evaluations to ensure the agency was in compliance with the internationally established standards. Verification by the assessment team is part of a voluntary process to gain accreditation.

The assessors noted on multiple occasions that the NCSO had three years to prepare for the on-site assessment; however, the department successfully completed it in under a year and had zero non-compliance issues with the standards.


The final assessment report summary states, in part:

“The Newton County Sheriff’s Office is a full service law enforcement agency. The agency uses problem solving strategies and a community policing approach to the delivery of law enforcement services with a high priority placed on pro-active efforts. Agency personnel are well trained and well equipped to deliver high quality services.

“The agency embraces the philosophy of community policing, focusing its attention on partnerships with the communities it serves. This philosophy was evidenced by the agency’s relationships with community organizations, as well the fact that Newton County has 122 active Neighborhood Watch Programs. Striving for a cooperative process of identifying police/community priorities, the agency seeks more effective methods of achieving its goals. The agency recognizes that police incidents are symptoms of underlying problems and searches to identify problems in many different dimensions. The agency encourages the use of creativity and imagination by officers of all ranks in its quest to address these problems.

“The agency maintains a healthy working relationship between command staff and line staff as evidenced by the lack of grievances during the assessment period. A sense of agency pride and family was prevalent throughout the agency. It is evident that CALEA standards and practices have become part of the culture of the Newton County Sheriff’s Office.”

In conjunction with CALEA accreditation, the NCSO also holds Georgia State Certification, National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) accreditation, and American Correction Association (ACA) accreditation. These accreditations/certifications make NCSO eligible for the prestigious National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award.


Newton County Sheriff's Office receives Triple Crown Award

The Covington News | July 12, 2017

The Newton County Sheriff’s Office traveled to the National Sheriffs' Association conference in Reno, Nevada and received the National Sheriff’s Association Triple Crown Award June 26. 

This prestigious award was achieved as a result of the NCSO simultaneously receiving the following accreditations:  Commission on the Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) and American Correction Association (ACA). 



Sheriff Brown has embraced his role and commitment to his community and has made tremendous progress.  He has done much to lay the foundation for “improving the quality of life in our community” and has done so in a short period of time. He will continue to uphold the mission of the Sheriff’s Office and implement practices, procedures and programs that reflect our ever changing community. We now live in a multi-cultural diversified community, which requires planning, training, and additional resources to meet this challenge.

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As your Sheriff, I have…

S - Secured grant funding that added employees, established a traffic unit, provided body cameras, bullet proof vests, etc., making our community safer for all.

H - Handled internal and external concerns personally; using an open door policy, to enhance community relations through effective two- way communication.

E - Enhanced community engagement by building partnerships with our school system and post-secondary institutions, businesses, and civic organizations, in our efforts to provide back to school and CHAMPS for students, safety awareness and preparation activities for citizens, and rehabilitation programs for inmates.

R - Revamped practices, policies and procedures to ensure that they are aligned with nationally accepted standards of operation.

I - Investigated crime scenes alongside front-line staff and assisted employees in gathering evidence required for solving cases.

F - Focused on issues relevant to our local community and beyond through interactions with other public servants, fellow law enforcement leaders, and a cross-section of residents.

F - Fulfilled requirements of three accrediting organizations, resulting in being named a “Triple Crown Agency."

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