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Troup County Sheriff’s Office keeps presence in schools

Despite some adjustments due to the pandemic, the Troup County Sheriff’s Office has continued to keep a positive presence in Troup County’s schools through its youth programs.

When school started in August, the sheriff’s office was invited to resume its programs in most Troup County schools. 

Stewart Smith, public information officer for TCSO, said presentations have been built to work within health and safety guidelines. 

This year PowerPoints and take-home booklets are being used more, TCSO is presenting less to large groups, and students have been spaced out more for safety. 

One of the biggest efforts is TCSO’s Junior Deputy Program, a combination of safety lessons presented to third grade students throughout the Troup County School System’s 11 elementary schools.

The program traditionally includes a tour of the sheriff’s office facilities, an equipment demonstration and a tour through the Troup County Government Center, where students are allowed to view an actual trial in progress.

Smith said the program was paused when the pandemic hit in March but has restarted in nearly all of Troup County’s elementary schools. 

“We appreciate the trust they have with us to bring the schools these programs,” Smith said. 

“We’ve been able to pull it off successfully without any issues.” 

On Monday, Smith talked to fifth graders at Callaway Elementary School about the dangers of social media.

The presentation has been shown to students before and has received positive feedback, Smith said. 

He said it’s even more important now while students stay at home more. 

Smith hoped students took away that the internet is a viable resource, but that social media apps such as Instagram or Snapchat can pose dangers that students need to remain aware of.

“They may not know specifically who they’re talking to … that person could potentially be pretending to be someone that they’re not,” Smith warned. 

“We stress the importance that if you’re going to be on those apps, be very careful and know who you’re talking to.”