LaGRANGE — Troup County Sheriff James Woodruff may have a huge pool of deputies to choose from and add to his department in the next 10 years.
Woodruff hosted 11 students — all from the the third grade — on Tuesday as “sheriffs for the day.”
The students received the full experience, starting early in the morning when they were each picked up by a deputy and escorted to the Troup County Sheriff’s office on Sam Walker Drive.
When the third graders arrived, they were presented with honorary badges by Woodruff and given tours of the office, jail and mobile command truck. The group also saw a K9 demonstration and viewed one of TCSO’s new patrol cars.
Students then took a ride over to the Troup County Government Center on Ridley Avenue and toured the 911 center and other offices, and learned more about criminal justice from District Attorney Pete Skandalakis.
The third graders were then treated to lunch, given honorary certificates from the sheriff and received patrol rides back to their schools.
According to officials, the students all took part in TCSO’s Junior Deputy Program taught each year in each of the county’s 11 elementary schools.
Sgt. Stewart Smith is the coordinator of the program. He visits each of the schools at various times and teaches the students four important lessons: being safe at school, being safe at home, bicycle safety and saying no to drugs and alcohol.
“The Junior Deputy Program is important because it allows us to reach every third grader within the Troup County School System,” stated Sheriff Woodruff. “… This is also a way for us to be a partner with the schools and its staff. Each of these students were excellent representatives for their schools.”
The students were chosen by their teachers to represent their respective schools for the Sheriff for a Day event.
Melanie Ruberti is a reporter at LaGrange Daily News. She can be reached at 706-884-7311, ext. 2156.