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Etowah County Sheriff’s Office hosts Student Leadership Academy

Published: Jun. 17, 2021 at 5:13 AM CDT
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ETOWAH COUNTY, Ala. (WBRC) - Etowah County Sheriff Department spending time this week with high school students. Rising seniors from 10 schools in Etowah County attended this weeks Student Leadership Academy.

Their days start at 5 a.m. and they don’t end until 9 p.m. Students spend a week learning things like how to use weapons and explosives and how the sheriffs office functions. They even have a chance to earn earn college credit.

Students live in the dorms at Gadsden State Community College. Each day they have a different schedule with various classes and hands-on learning activities.

“They get to ride with a deputy and learn about patrol,” says Etowah County Sheriff Jonathan Horton. “Along with that they get to learn how government functions. They get to spend time with our presiding circuit judge. Our district attorney, our probate judge, just see how government functions. Then from there learn what it is to be a deputy every day.”

Sheriff Horton says many of these seniors are considering a career in law enforcement or criminal justice. He believes It’s important for them to be aware of what really goes on once you get out in the career field.

“They also get to physically go out on calls. We obviously don’t carry them out on dangerous things,” says Sheriff Horton. “But routine calls and to do routine patrol. Then today to learn how to safety use a firearm. How dangerous those things can be. What’s important to pay attention to keep everyone safe.”

Students like Brody Johnson and Charly Robinson say they plan to share their experience with other students and encourage them to participate in the academy.

“It’s definitely the most exhausting week, but it pays off because it’s so much fun and you get to learn a ton about what goes into criminal justice and law enforcement,” says Robinson.

“It’s a worthwhile experience. I’d tell them to get in shape first. They definitely need to be in shape,” says Johnson.

Tomorrow they’ll hold a graduation ceremony where students will be named honorary deputies with the Etowah County Sheriff Department. Sheriff Horton says the most important thing he wants students to walk away with is discipline, self motivation and integrity.

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