Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office has a new face on its roster. Roma Allen, a native of Cumberland County, New Jersey, completed police academy recently and has been promoted to deputy, joining Sheriff Jeffrey Brewer’s uniform patrol division.
The 33-year-old husband of Cassandra Allen and father of two daughters, 2-year-old Amor and 8-year-old Trinity, sat down with The Chronicle for a short interview last week. During that time, he explained the family’s road to Swainsboro and his personal journey to becoming a law enforcement officer.
Surprisingly enough, he has family in the area. Robert Allen, the trainer at CPR Fitness, is his uncle. Throughout his years, he made the trip south with his father numerous times to attend church and charity functions in the Swainsboro area. He loved it so much that when he got the chance to move his family here, he took it and they’ve loved it ever since.
“It’s just better here. Going from the city to the country, it’s way different. We love it. Everyone is so loving here. The people, the food, the atmosphere, the cost of living—it’s all so much better,” Allen said.
Back home in New Jersey, he worked in communications. Since moving to the area, Allen has worked a couple different jobs, including a position in maintenance at Crider. In 2019, he took the first step toward realizing his childhood dream of becoming a police officer; at that time, he was hired into corrections at the prison in Jenkins County. The time he spent as an officer there showed him just a taste of what his entire dream would feel like and led him to where he is today.
“From the time I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a law enforcement officer. I always wanted to have this on my chest,” Allen said with proudly, looking down at his deputy badge. “I don’t know what took me so long to get here, but you know what they say… ‘Better late than never,’ right? I’d say I finally took the jump and made the switch from corrections to this because there was a four-month stretch of hospital details. I wasn’t able to see my family very much, and it was stressful. I didn’t feel like I was helping people very much at the time, either.”
Around that time, Allen’s cousin, John Parker, told him about an opening here at the sheriff’s office. Allen applied and, sure enough, everything came together starting in January 2021.
In April, he was sent off to Georgia Public Safety Training Center’s police academy and spent the next 12 weeks becoming post certified in basic law enforcement, emergency vehicle operations, firearms, tasing, and pepper spraying. At the same time, he says the grueling program taught him the mental necessities required of a law enforcement officer in the field. He graduated June 18, along with jail administrator Captain West Bedgood.
“I’m a people person, and I love kids. Being out here, I saw how young kids were and I saw the violence. I started seeing it a little bit, and the more I saw it, the more I wanted to do something meaningful. I wanted to become that person young kids could look up to. My first day as a deputy in the uniform patrol division was last Tuesday. I can honestly say since I started with Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office, everything has been great. Everybody has been so helpful. I know they’ve got my back, and I’ve got theirs. I’m just grateful to have been given the chance. Now that I’m here, I’m here to help. “
Allen would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to his father, Roma Allen Sr., who has always inspired, supported, and encouraged him to achieve his dream of becoming a law enforcement officer. He also would like to thank his wife for supporting him and his kids for being his personal motivators.