Sheriff Griffin is speaker

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2011

GEORGIA TECHNICAL COLLEGE President Sparky Reeves stands with Sheriff Wiley Griffin, as well as SGTC Law Enforcement Academy instructors Vanessa Wall and Brett Murray, SGTC Vice President for Academic Affairs Robbie Latimore and the 13 Law Enforcement Academy graduates.

SHERIFF WILEY GRIFFIN of the Decatur County Sheriff’s Office in Bainbridge addressed a large crowd at South Georgia Technical College’s sixth Law Enforcement Academy graduation recently.

Decatur County Sheriff Wiley Griffin recently addressed a large crowd at the South Georgia Technical College sixth Law Enforcement Academy Graduation in the John M. Pope Industrial Technology Center in Americus.

Addressing the cadets, Sheriff Griffin said, “Not only are you entering a very rewarding profession, but you are positioning yourself to make a difference in so many people’s lives.”

Griffin urged the cadets to think outside of the box in their future law enforcement careers, and to set an example for others.

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“A good officer has to make a calculated decision to distinguish a citizen who has made a mistake from a citizen who is a criminal. Help them both, but make sure that the criminal is separated from society, so that they can do no more harm,” advised Griffin. “Your career will be very rewarding; however, it is dangerous and very stressful.”

Griffin advised the cadets not to forget about the people who have supported them throughout their journey to become law enforcement officers.

“Your immediate family—your parents, your spouses, your children, your brothers and sisters—they can become your rock when you need them the most. Don’t shut them out; keep them involved in your life and career,” said Griffin. “It is their sacrifice that allows you to do your job. They are very proud of you and the career you have chosen. Don’t let them or your country down!”

Griffin stressed the importance of integrity and character in the law enforcement field, and in life.

“In your law enforcement career you will find that integrity is more important than your weapon,” said Griffin. “If you lose your weapon, yes, you could be in danger, but if you ever lose your integrity, your career, your character and your reputation is lost.”

Griffin added, “Be the leaders who will make your communities a place where people will want to buy a house and raise their families.”

In May of 2010, Sheriff Griffin’s son, Wiley M. Griffin IV, graduated from SGTC’s Law Enforcement Academy as a member of the fourth LEA class, and is now employed as a deputy in the Grady County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Griffin has served as the Sheriff for Decatur County for the past 12 years, during which time he has received numerous honors and awards. He was the 2005 recipient of the “Sheriff of the Year” award, given by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.

Griffin, along with five other sheriffs, was instrumental in developing the fifth-grade education program known as CHAMPS (Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety), which is now used in more than 50 counties in the state of Georgia. Sheriff Griffin also introduced the RAD (Rape Aggression Defense) program for women, K-9 program, and additional educational programs for area high schools.

Thirteen individuals were presented with their Technical Certificates of Credit and POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) certification recognition at the sixth Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremony by South Georgia Tech President Sparky Reeves.

South Georgia Tech was selected as one of six technical colleges in Georgia to participate in a pilot project that would allow new law enforcement officers to receive their basic law enforcement training at a state technical college and obtain college credit at the same time. The cadets undergo 18 weeks and more than 700 hours of intense training mentally and physically.

The LEA graduates received their POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) certification from South Georgia Technical College as well as a technical certificate of credit that can be utilized toward a diploma or Associate Degree in Criminal Justice.