Augusta Department of Public Safety Director Bob Sage announces retirement after 34 years

Greg Williams
Butler County Times Gazette
Augusta Department of Public Safety Director Bob Sage

Augusta Department of Public Safety Director Bob Sage has announced plans for his upcoming retirement after nearly 34 years in law enforcement.

Sage’s retirement date is planned for the end of October 2021 but will continue to serve in the director position while the city conducts a search and recruitment process for his replacement.

At the beginning of Sage's career in public safety, at the age of 18, he started as a 911 dispatcher for the Augusta Department of Safety. From there he worked a variety of positions for three different law enforcement agencies until 2002 when he was appointed the Chief of Police in Rose Hill.

He served in that capacity until 2016 when he returned to Augusta as a Sergeant in the Special Services Division and was later promoted to Director of Public Safety in 2018.

Augusta City Manager Josh Shaw had this to say about Sage's retirement announcement on Sept. 3.

"We are so happy for Bob as he enters this exciting new chapter in his life,” said Augusta City Manager Josh Shaw. “Bob began his career in Augusta and after more than three decades of service to the citizens of Butler County, it is only fitting to see him conclude his career back where it all began."

Mayor Rawlings echoed the bittersweet sentiments.

“I am happy for Bob but I am personally sad that he is departing. "He is a good public safety director and a good friend. We will miss him greatly."

Under the leadership of Director Sage, the Augusta Department of Public Safety tackled numerous strategic goals.

Sage said he is most proud of working with city administration and elected officials to improve pay and benefits for officers, and he is proud of the support the department received for equipment and technology upgrades that allowed the purchase of body cameras, improvements to video systems, safety equipment, and vehicle replacements.

“When I think about success it is in the context of group achievement, not individual,” said Sage.“I perceive we’ve improved the relationship with our community through the way we handle complaints and how we communicate through the use of social media and publishing crime data daily to Lexis Nexis. Our flooding and severe weather communication have particularly improved.”

Sage further stated that the department offers training that in the past was not supported and that department employees have a greater ability to suggest and make changes.

Reflecting on his career, Sage stated, “I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been raised in this community and to have lived in Rose Hill and Butler County all my life. The finest people I’ve ever known are here – and the finest first responders I’ve ever known are here. The future is bright and I’m going to enjoy seeing the changes and achievements that are coming, albeit it from my porch.”

The City has initiated the recruitment for Augusta’s next Director of Public Safety by posting the job announcement. The recruitment profile and job posting for the Director of Public Safety position are available on the city’s website at www.augustaks.org.