Sheriffs Elect Learn About Their Elected Office
Sheriff elects around the state are back in school but they're not just sitting in class learning about their new job.
More than 40 sheriff elects are back in lectures and taking notes on their upcoming duties. While many have been involved with law enforcement in the past, some said this class is preparing them for their new duties once they take their oath of office.
"Training gives us the tools to go into that office with a head start on what to expect," Bibb County Sheriff-Elect, David Davis said.
"A lot of it is redundant a lot of it is new,” Lamar County Sheriff-Elect Brad White said. “The sheriff, the sheriff himself is the highest constitutional officer and has a lot of mandate."
That’s one of the many lessons that sheriffs elect are learning while attending the Sheriffs Elect Academy at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth. By state law, a newly elected sheriff must attend the four week training program that draws instructors from around the state. Some said after being at the center for two weeks, they now have a better understanding of their elected office.
"A lot more responsibility,” Davis said. “There are a lot of requirements and duties that are placed on the sheriff to serve the public in the county."
Instead of just their mandated duties, they're learning about their new political roles as well.
"We're picking up a lot of the newer changes in case law,” Telfair County Sheriff-Elect Chris Steverson said. “Things that pertain specifically to the office of sheriff."
However they’re doing more than just sitting in class listening to instructors all day.
"There's a lot of networking going on here and we're just having a good time learning,” White said.
"Good camaraderie,”Steverson said. “We meet up, we have lunches together."
"Get to know each other,” Davis said. “Can call each other and rely on each other for help."
They may be half way through their class but sheriffs elect said they're wide awake and ready to tackle the last half of their course.
"I'm in the front row there, so I have to stay awake,” Steverson said. “But it's really pretty exciting to be here. I don't think anyone is sleeping in class.
The sheriff elects will graduate from the academy on December 14. The ceremony will be at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.