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Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Macon Community News

The Macon Newsroom

Bibb County Sheriff’s Office Receives Satisfactory Grade in Transparency Check

Liz Fabian
Bibb County deputies confer outside the sheriff’s office. The department’s crime analyst said if the public filed non-emergency incident reports online, response times will improve.

Since the Bibb County Sheriff’s Office does not include scheduled agendas or approved minutes, they were judged a bit differently compared to the other agencies of Bibb County. However, the main goal was to check what they do communicate and what information is open to the general public.

Students at Mercer’s Reg Murphy Center for Collaborative Journalism reviewed nine local agencies on their compliance with state law as well as any extras they provided in making their work as transparent and accessible to the public as possible. You can read about the other agencies and see their rankings here.

The Sheriff’s Office website is

Does the website list out its key staff, governing board or other leadership and how to contact them? Yes; it directs you to Sheriff David Davis and his email, which is [email protected], as well as Chief Deputy Mike Scarbary and Colonel Henderson Carswell, but their contact information is not listed.

Does the agency have a public information officer? If so, is the name and contact information listed? There is no public information officer listed. But they do have a Public Affairs Office you can contact at [email protected].

Does the website have information on meeting announcements/meeting dates and times? Not applicable.

Does the website have meeting agendas? Not applicable

Does the website have approved meeting minutes? Not applicable

Does the agency have social media platforms and if so, which ones? Yes, the sheriff’s office uses Facebook, X, and Instagram. The office uses both to share news of the operations like arrests, accomplishments, and social events that occur.

Does the agency provide a way for the public to make open records requests? Yes; there’s an option in the drop down that anyone can click in order to submit a request for open records. Their email for these requests is [email protected].

Does the agency provide a way for the public to watch its meetings virtually as they happen? And/or does the agency have recordings of its meetings on the website or linked from the website? No, but there is an option to contact the office for news or media requests at [email protected].

Please note any other information you found on the website that would be helpful to members of the public who would want to keep up with this agency’s business. The website has a section where you can look up any potential sex offenders, as well as a daily crime report, a criminal investigations division, a corrections unit, latest news, patrol unit, forensics, training, and inmate search.

Transparency Grade: Satisfactory. The sheriff’s office doesn’t meet regularly or have meeting minutes but it does include news stories on arrests and other occurrences. There’s a page for each department and a social media page to keep citizens updated. Most of the basic necessities for an agency website.

Online Accessibility Grade: Average. Overall, the accessibility is about the average for a non-governmental organization in regards to the general public. Although there could be more information included – such as the contact information for the Colonel and Chief Deputy, most of the basic necessities are fairly easy to reach on the website. There were also no press conferences posted or recordings of the conferences, but they are pretty active on social media for anyone that might not use the website regularly but still want to keep up with news and updates.

Transparency Grading
Excellent: Agency goes above what the law requires for just posting its meeting times and also posted agendas and minutes.
Satisfactory: Agency had its meeting times posted on its website as required by law.
Unsatisfactory: Agency did not have its meeting times and/or agendas posted on its website as required by law.
Online Accessibility Grading
Superior: Agency provided contact information for leadership, audio or video recordings of meetings and minutes from its meetings. Agency also used social media platforms to share out information of interest to the public.
Average: Agency provided contact information for leadership and was active on social media but did not have audio or video recordings of meetings and/or minutes from its meetings posted online.
Below Average: Agency didn’t provide contact information for leadership and didn’t regularly post on social media. Agency also did not have audio or video recordings of meetings or minutes from its meetings available online.
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