After high school he began to serve his country with the US Navy. His 1st job with the Navy was to board and search ships before becoming a dog handler searching for explosives. He served a tour of duty as a K9 handler searching for IEDs and explosives in Fallujah, Iraq at the height of the Iraq War.
He began his career in law enforcement in 2007 as a K9 handler with Willacoochee Police. His service to Atkinson County began in 2009 with the Atkinson Sheriff Office. He has held several potions with the SO including deputy, narcotics investigator, chief investigator. He was promoted to Cheif Deputy in 2017 where he works diligently to keep the day to day operations of the office running like clockwork.
Chief Knapik continues to serve the US NAVY as a reservist and holds the rank of First Class Petty Officer.
Lt Robert “Buddy” Taft
Buddy started his career with Atkinson SO as a jailor in August 2002. He always desired a more active role in improving his community so in Sept 2011 he attended and graduated from ABAC Police Academy and became a deputy with Atkinson SO. Deputy Taft continued to grow professionally with the office. He was promoted to Corporal then Sgt, and currently holds the position of Lieutenant. Taft is responsible for directly supervising the deputies and managing their day to day operations.
Deputy Dennis Hagood
Deputy Hagood has been serving in law enforcement since 1996. Deputy Hagood has held a number of positions during the course of his career including Corporal, Sgt, and as a Chief of Police. Deputy Hagood holds many certifications such as Supervisor Certificates, Field Training Officer, Radar, Lidar, Intox 9000, Crisis Intervention, At Risk Adult Crime Tactics, advanced traffic strategies, advanced traffic accident investigations and animal animal cruelty investigator. Deputy Hagood has also served the State of Georgia in the Ga Defence Force at the rank of Sgt.
Deputy Hagood has been serving Atkinson County since August of 2019.
Deputy Dustin Lee
Dustin Lee has been in Law Enforcement since 2017. He started his career in law enforcement serving the City of Pearson as a Patrolman and K9 Officer. Lee transitioned over with the Sheriff’s office in November 2020. Prior to Law Enforcement, he worked for Okefenokee EMS in Atkinson County as an EMT. Lee has long had a passion to better the community in which he lives.
Deputy Chase Phillips
Deputy Chase Phillips has had a long career in public safety as EMT and a firefighter. He graduated ABAC Police Academy 3 years ago. He has been with Atkinson SO since April of 2021.
His stated goal is to have a positive impact on his community. His favorite part of law enforcement is that he is the one present during a person’s time of need and has an ability to impact the situation.
Deputy Kenneth Knowles
Deputy Knowles started his education At ABAC and earned a BS in Criminal Justice. He completed multiple classes through GPSTC including Basic Firefighter I & II, First responder for Law Enforcement, and Basic Mandate for Law Enforcement.
He has held several positions in law enforcement including police officer, deputy sheriff, and International Police Advisor in Summerall, Iraq, Convoy Security Team in Afghanistan as well as Iraq, and canine handler in Iraq.
Knowles chose law enforcement as a way of giving back to his community. He explains that he loves helping people and the community.
Deputy Anthony Perkins
Deputy Perkins started his career as a corrections officer with Ga Dept of Corrections in 1998. In 2002 he graduated from ABAC Police Academy and began his career with Coffee SO as a deputy sheriff. In 2006 he became Sgt over a road patrol shift. In 2008 he became an investigator with the Coffee SO Criminal Investigation Division where he served for 8 years. Atkinson County Office of Sheriff welcomed Investigator Perkins to its ranks in 2021 where he serves as an investigator and brings his many years of experience and training to serve the citizens here.
Deputy English began his law enforcement career in 2016 as a jailer for Coffee County. He worked there until 2018 when he transitioned to Atkinson County jail. He later attended ABAC for his LEO certification. Prior to law enforcement, Deputy English served the citizens of Atco as a volunteer firefighter for over 5 years. He was also employed by the City of Waycross as a full-time firefighter. Deputy English has always enjoyed serving and protecting the community and hopes that his efforts make a positive impact on the safety of those who reside here. Deputy English has a devotion to public service and is driven to improve his community.
Deputy Randall Rhymes, Retired
Deputy Rhymes is now retired. He has served the community for 20 years and had a long career in law enforcement starting as a jailor in Montgomery County in 2000 then as a 911 operator for Coffee 911. Randall later became a jailor with Atkinson County. He graduated from ABAC Police Academy in 2005 and started his career as a police officer with Pearson PD. He was promoted to Sgt and served as investigator. Rhymes became a deputy with Atkinson County and was promoted to Sgt and investigator. Deputy Rhymes served the citizens of Atkinson faithfully and was honored to become a resource officer with the Atco school system where he formed the Board of Education Police Dept and was named its first police chief.
Rhymes is currently a project manager with Red Speed, a company specializing in school zone speed detection cameras. He however cant get service out of his system so he continues to serve Atco as a traffic deputy on weekends.