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12 new sheriffs for the day


By Alex Welch
Assistant Editor 

  The Henry County Sheriff’s Department kept a yearly tradition going this past Friday by bringing in one student from each middle school around Henry County for the “Sheriff for a Day” program. A total of 12 sixth-grade students spent the day learning about daily law enforcement routines and what goes on behind the scenes.

Sheriff Keith McBrayer and the 12 students selected as sheriffs for the day prepare to take a tour of the Henry County Sheriff’s Department facilities.                             Photo by Alex Welch

  Students from all the sixth-grade classes around the county are asked to write a paper explaining what they would do if they were to become a sheriff. Sheriff Keith McBrayer then has his staff pick out some of the best answers, and he individually selects one winner from each middle school. The competition is exclusive to sixth graders.

  The sheriff’s department has been running this program for over 30 years now. McBrayer was pleased to see the variety of responses this time around.

  “We get a lot of good answers,” McBrayer said. “It’s interesting to see the mindset of some of these kids and their ideas.”

  Some of the answers included cracking down on drugs, teaching about seat belt safety and talking to kids about making bad decisions at a young age.

  New trends in today’s society appear to be standing out in kids’ minds, though. Andrea Avila, the winner from Dutchtown Middle, talked about how technology is affecting drivers.

  “I would personally try and catch all the people who are texting and driving,” Avila said in her answer. “They lead to a lot of accidents that are often times fatal.”

  Melissa Saunders of Eagle’s Landing Middle provided one answer that particularly stood out to McBrayer.

  “As sheriff, collecting taxes is a part of my job. I would make sure all taxes are paid to the state on time,” said Saunders. She thinks her method of collecting taxes door to door would make the process simpler.

  McBrayer started the day by giving the 12 students a certificate and a pin symbolizing their status as sheriff for the day. After getting their pictures taken for their ID badges, the kids witnessed a drug dog demonstration and learned about how the dogs are trained.

  Throughout the day the students were taken on a tour of the facilities, visiting the jail, courthouse, 911 dispatch office and more. They learned about what goes on in each of these areas and the work the department goes through every day. 

  The full list of sixth-grade winners included: Nisar Ahmed of Union Grove, Linda Guerrero of Austin Road, Samantha Wilkins of Woodland, Ashlynn Evans of Ola, Shivam Patel of Luella, Jorge Aguilar of Stockbridge, Andrea Avila of Dutchtown, Melissa Saunders of Eagle’s Landing, Ashlee Fellows of Locust Grove and Kaila Grant of Henry County. Chris Pelham and Dylan Paige Ammons of Hampton were both selected from their school after finishing in a tie for best answer.



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