TROUP COUNTY, Ga. (WRBL) – Eight third graders attended “Sheriff for a Day” on Friday at the Troup County Sheriff’s Office. “Sheriff for a Day” is an annual event held by the sheriff’s office where one third grader from every elementary school is invited to learn about the department. The students are chosen by the administrators at each school and it is the final step in the Junior Deputy Program. 

The students were given lunch and had the opportunity to shadow sheriff deputies, tour the jail, see a canine demonstration and visit the 911 dispatch center and government center. 

“It’s a lot of things that they normally don’t see unless you’re googling or seeing pictures of it or something. Going back to the jail and seeing how things operate down here gives them an understanding of how we do things here at the sheriff’s office,” said Sgt. Stewart Smith, the Public Information Officer for the Troup County Sheriff’s Office. 

The Junior Deputy Program comes from a partnership between the sheriff’s office and the Troup County School System. Sgt. Smith visits the 11 elementary schools in the system throughout the school year and teaches the third graders 4 lessons. The lessons are being safe at school, being safe at home, bicycle safety and the dangers of drugs and alcohol. 

Luke Haywood represented West Point Elementary School at Sheriff for a Day. He said the canine demonstration was his favorite part of the day and he hopes to work at the sheriff’s office one day. 

“I really liked how the canine chased the man and that lesson and yeah, that was pretty funny,” said Haywood. 

He said his favorite lesson from the program was “staying safe at home” because it taught him what to do to ensure his safety. Haywood hopes to one day work at the sheriff’s office. 

The Junior Deputy Program has been taught for over a decade and Sgt. Smith said it is updated based on how the community progresses.