Our View: Building relationships at an early age

Published 4:15 pm Wednesday, July 17, 2019

This week serves as the final week of the Troup County Sheriff’s Academy for Youth summer camp. The camp has been an opportunity for campers to receive first-hand law enforcement experiences and to get a behind-the-scenes look of what life is truly like at the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.

The camp has included field trips to Great Wolf Lodge, the Wild Animal Safari, the movie theatre and a skating rink. The first week of camp was for 9 and 10 year olds, and the second week is for 11 and 12-year-olds.

Sgt. Stewart Smith, who helps facilitate the camp, said the camp is also an opportunity for children of young ages to see law enforcement in a different light.

“I try and show them every division that we have,” Smith said. “We’ve done our patrol division, our K-9 division, narcotics and investigations. The jail division is a huge division in our agency, and a lot of kids have never seen a jail.

It is not a ‘scared straight’ program or anything, but it gives them a chance to see what we do on a day-to-day basis.”

Law enforcement in Troup County understands and recognizes the necessity of connecting well with the younger generations. In the normal course of business and life, law enforcement agents regularly come into contact with children and young adults.

If those children and young adults have positive experiences with legal agencies at an early age, those relationships can easily be cultivated over the years.

The Sheriff’s Office is taking steps to facilitate those relationships from an early age, and should be recognized for doing so.

We extend a hearty ‘thank you’ to the Sheriff’s Office for the work they have been doing these past two weeks with our youth.