Moats and 43 other newly elected sheriffs were required by the state to report to the month-long academy immediately after the general election to be trained in topics they will face as the chief law enforcement officer of their county.
Moats and the other new sheriffs attended the training at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Forsyth, Ga. Middle District Assistant U.S. Attorney Chuck Byrd gave the keynote graduation address and presented diplomas to the graduates in a formal graduation ceremony on the last day of the academy session.
The intense 160-hour curriculum included classroom instruction emphasizing the duties of the chief law enforcement officer of their county. The State Constitution and the Official Code of Georgia specify many duties of the office of sheriff, including service as jail officers, court officers, law enforcement officers, and administrators.
Class sessions introduced new sheriffs to these responsibilities while state and national experts also lectured the sheriffs-elect on the latest issues concerning jails, civil procedure, personnel and liability issues.
“The office of sheriff, an office of great dignity, is tasked with many duties and responsibilities. I want to commend Sheriff Moats and this entire group for their commitment to perform their duties to the best of their ability in order to serve and protect the citizens of their counties,” said J. Terry Norris, executive director of the Georgia Sheriff’s Association.
The course was initiated by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association in partnership with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council whom drafted legislation in 1976 requiring every new sheriff to complete this course during the first term of office.
The training has evolved from a voluntary, two-day seminar in 1960 into an intense, four-week curriculum required by law.
Georgia was the first state to require training for newly elected sheriffs, although many states have since passed similar measures.
This marks the completion of the ninth sheriffs-elect academy since the 1976 mandate.