Press Releases


Christmas Shopping Safety Tips

Christmas Shopping Safety Tips

Shop during daylight hours whenever possible. If you must shop at night, go with a friend or family member. Avoid wearing expensive jewelry. Do not carry a purse or wallet, if possible. Even though you are rushed and thinking about a thousand things, stay alert to your surroundings. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Pay for purchases with a check or credit card when possible. Keep cash in your front pocket. Notify the credit card issuer immediately if your credit card is lost, stolen or misused. Keep a record of all of your credit card numbers in a safe place at home. Be extra careful if you do carry a wallet or purse. They are the prime targets of criminals in crowded shopping areas. Beware of strangers approaching you for any reason. At this time of year, "con-artists" may try various methods of distracting you with the intention of taking your money or belongings. Always lock your vehicle and store all items out of sight.  Breaking into an empty car isn’t worth a thief’s time. 
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October TCSO Activity Report


Sheriff Gene Scarbrough reports the activity for October 2018.

Deputies conducted 1,710 business and property checks, 667 Mobile Home Park and subdivision checks with 38 school checks and responded to 2,820 calls for service.

Sheriff Scarbrough said deputies served 90 warrants, 118 civil papers and 273 subpoenas.

The sheriff reported that deputies arrested 70 people, some on multiple charges. He said that 25 charges of parole/probation violation were filed, 13 drug violations, 10 crimes against persons charges, 4 obstruction charges, 15 property crimes charges, 4 charges of driving under the influence, 11 failures to appear, 5 child support violations and arrested 3 wanted persons.  Deputies also charged 24 individuals with having a suspended or revoked driver’s license as well as 7 non-traffic charges.

He added that deputies completed 545 reports, issued 672 traffic citations, 159 traffic warnings and patrolled 75,190 miles.

The sheriff also reported that deputies provided 60 transports, totaling 187 hours and 6,792 miles.                

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Sex Offender Registry Update

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GNOA Quail Luncheon For First Responders


Our thanks to the Georgia Narcotics Officer's Association, GNOA, for today's Quail Luncheon at the Tift County Recreation Department for all local first responders.  Sheriff Gene Scarbrough is shown with Wesley Nunn President of the GNOA.  Quail, both fried and grilled, were provided along with chicken, biscuits and cheese grits with the Sheriff's Office providing the desserts.

The Georgia Narcotics Officers' Association (GNOA), founded in 2000, promotes professionalism, training, and the exchange of ideas and information among law enforcement agencies and support groups who are charged with combating the misuse of illegal and controlled drugs in Georgia.  

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Sex Offender Registry Update

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Have A Safe & Fun Halloween Tonight

Dear Concerned Citizens of Tift County

With Halloween tonight, it is crucial that you know which houses your children should avoid when trick-or-treating.  I invite you to view our website, www.tiftsheriff.org, research neighborhoods and addresses that are important to you and register to receive e-mail notifications on registered sex offenders within proximity of these addresses.  The most beneficial aspect of the address monitoring feature is that once your important addresses and e-mail addresses have been registered, the system will automatically alert you via e-mail when an offender moves within a specified radius of the registered address.

Register any and all addresses where your children spend time; for example friends, grandparents or babysitter's addresses.  Registering for this confidential e-mail alert service allows us to monitor you important addresses for you, thereby keeping you up-to-date on newly registered offenders and making it unnecessary for you to have to check these addresses daily or even weekly.  

While visiting our website, you can also view and print important safety tips to review with your children.  The e-mail notifications discussing the various safety tips help increase awareness.  It is the goal of our office to provide accurate information to the public regarding the dangers of sexual predators and to further build community awareness.  To help us achieve this goal, we utilize OffenderWatch® to manage and monitor the registered offender's whereabouts as well as conduct compliance checks of know addresses within the community.  OffenderWatch ® is the nation's leading sex offender management and community notification too and we began using this software solution in 2007.  Since then OffenderWatch ® has emailed 11,624 notifications to our citizens and 296 citizens registered e-mail addresses to receive real-time e-mail sex offender notifications.  We are successful in achieving these results because OffenderWatch ® provides the most accurate and timely information available to the public.

 “Community Notification” empowers you with the knowledge that can be used to protect yourself and your family from becoming victims. I firmly believe that the more educated and aware a community is of what and where the dangers lurk, the more success we have with our community notification program.

Happy Safe and Happy Halloween,

Sheriff Gene Scarbrough

Federal Disaster Declaration Now Includes Tift County

Survivors in Seven Additional Georgia Counties May Apply for Disaster Assistance

October 25, 2018

ATLANTA – Homeowners, renters and business owners in seven additional Georgia counties are now eligible to apply for federal disaster assistance due to losses from Hurricane Michael.

President Donald Trump amended a major disaster declaration on Oct. 25, for the State of Georgia to include Calhoun, Clay, Laurens, Randolph, Sumter, Tift and Turner counties.

Baker, Crisp, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Mitchell, Terrell, Thomas and Worth counties were previously designated for Individual Assistance.

Calhoun, Laurens, Sumter and Turner counties were already designated for debris removal and emergency protective measures.

To be eligible for disaster aid, damages and losses must have occurred as a result of Hurricane Michael, beginning Oct. 9.

If you have a homeowner’s or flood insurance policy, file your insurance claim immediately before applying for disaster assistance. Get the process started quickly. The faster you file, the faster your recovery can begin.

If you cannot return to your home, or you are unable to live in your home, visit DisasterAssistance.gov, or call 800-621-3362 (800-462-7585 TTY) to determine if state, voluntary or local organizations are in your community to address your immediate needs.

Although the federal government cannot make you whole, it may be able to help your recovery move forward by providing grants for basic repairs to make your home safe, accessible and secure. FEMA assistance also may provide temporary help with a place for you and your family to stay while you build your own recovery plan.

Long-term, low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) also may be available to cover losses not fully compensated by insurance and do not duplicate benefits of other agencies or organizations. Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via the SBA’s secure website at DisasterLoan.sba.gov or by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at 800-659-2955 (800-877-8339) for the deaf and hard-of-hearing) or by sending an e-mail to disastercustomerservice@sba.gov.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is unable to duplicate insurance payments. However, those without insurance or those who may be underinsured may still receive help after their insurance claims have been settled.

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September TCSO Activity Report


Sheriff Gene Scarbrough reports the activity for September 2018.

Deputies conducted 652 business and property checks, 2,001 Mobile Home Park and subdivision checks with 76 school checks and answered 3,063 calls for service.

Sheriff Scarbrough said deputies served 139 warrants, 77 civil papers and 195 subpoenas.

The sheriff reported that deputies arrested 116 people, some on multiple charges. He said that 39 charges of parole/probation violation were filed, 28 drug violations, 23 domestic reports, 19 crimes against persons charges, 33 suspended or revoked driver’s license, 11 obstruction charges, 23 property crimes charges, 7 charges of driving under the influence, 5 fraud charges, 4 child support violations, arrested 3 wanted persons along with 13 other non-traffic charges.

He added that deputies completed 541 reports, 23 accident reports, issued 1,084 traffic citations, 190 traffic warnings and patrolled 62,959 miles and verified the home addresses of 63 registered sex offenders living in Tift County.

The sheriff also reported that deputies provided 54 transports, totaling 162 hours and 6,258 miles.

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Burn Permits Issued in Tift County Following Hurricane Michael

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DOT Continuing Cleanup Efforts


For Immediate Release Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Contact: Nita Birmingham 229.326.5435  

GDOT makes state routes safe, focuses on local roads

TIFTON – Georgia Department of Transportation forces have made state routes safe to travel in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael and are answering the call from local government officials who need help clearing their roads.

"This does not mean we're done with state routes," SW Georgia District Engineer Ritchie Swindell cautioned. "There is still plenty of work left to do. We've got thousands of cubic yards of debris on our rights of way. The debris will be hauled off in time but there is a more immediate need to assist local governments." The 31 counties in the Southwest Georgia DOT district are included in the governor's state of emergency declaration, which has been extended to Nov. 6. Georgia DOT may assist local governments as long as the declaration is in effect. Requests for resources should be submitted through the local Emergency Management Agency. So far the Tifton district office has received requests from seven counties for manpower and/or equipment and supplies such as loaders, signs and barricades. Most requests are from counties in the southwest corner of the state, where the hurricane crossed in Georgia. Albany and Cordele have also received help with signal repair on local roads. Georgia DOT strike crews from across the state and Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Georgia Department of Corrections and Georgia Search and Rescue teams continue to assist in Southwest Georgia. In other post-Hurricane Michael road news:

SR 37 near Suttons Corner in Clay County is down to one lane. A washout on the shoulder of the road has worsened and will require rebuilding. There is no estimated date for completion. SR 45 in Colquitt, the square, remains closed. Georgia DOT forces had the square clear of debris Monday, but the area is being used for the distribution of food and supplies. SR 93 at SR 3 in Pelham also remains closed due to utilities that are down. The Southwest District sign shop, with the help of multiple crews from across the state, is replacing and/or realigning and straightening critical "red" signs – stop, do not enter and one way. District Sign Shop Manager Cedrick Robinson estimates 1,500 signs at the minimum will need to be replaced or repaired with those in the southwest corner of the state sustaining the heaviest damage. Other Georgia DOT districts have also shared inventory, sending a total of two truck loads of replacement signs. Ten to 12 state route intersections remain on generators because there is no power running to the traffic signals. District Signal Manager Brent Lupo estimates there are eight locations where other signals/beacons that are post-mounted need to be replaced.

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