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Press Release

HCSO Hosts Inaugural Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Graduation


HCSO Hosts Inaugural Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Graduation at the Hamilton County Courts Building

Hamilton County, TN – This afternoon, Hamilton County Sheriff Austin Garrett hosted the first Sheriff’s Citizens Academy Graduation for the nine members of the first Sheriff’s Citizens Academy.

The creation and implementation of a Sheriff’s Citizens Academy was part of Sheriff Austin Garrett’s vision to make our agency’s policies, operations, and activities more transparent to our community and give our citizens the opportunity to learn more about how their sheriff’s office works on a daily basis.

The inaugural HCSO Citizens Academy was comprised of (9) local leaders representing a diverse group of community organizations, churches, businesses, and public service agencies. Throughout the (40) hour academy, attendees learned about every aspect of our agency’s history and operations including Patrol Services, School Resource Deputy Unit, Narcotics, and Investigative Services.

“As Sheriff, I want our citizens to know we are ‘your’ Sheriff’s Office. The HCSO’s purpose is to serve and protect the entire community of Hamilton County and a large part of our mission is to build trust and positive relationships. As part of my vision to always add value in all we do, I created and implemented of a Sheriff’s Citizens Academy to help reinforce our ability to foster meaningful relationships with the citizens we are so proud to serve,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

Participants also took part in numerous training exercises covering active shooter response, vehicle stops, firearms and weapons drills, building clearing and tactics, and less lethal actions for deputy self-defense. Lastly, attendees learned about the HCSO’s Peer Support & Employee Health and Wellness program, General Counsel’s Office, and toured numerous facilities related to the safety and security of Hamilton County.

“I am very proud of the commitment these nine individuals made to complete this 40 hour academy and we appreciate the important contributions and conversations that their individual life experiences and perspectives have brought to our agency and our operations. My staff and I have fostered many new positive relationships with these graduates and we look forward to working together in the future,” stated Sheriff Austin Garrett.

Those graduating today’s Sheriff’s Citizens Academy are as follows:

• Mr. Freddie Brooks

Retired Chattanooga Firefighter, (28 Years)

Executive Director of the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters

• Mr. James Howard

Host, Sunny 92.3 WDEF Radio

Host of WTVC’s This N That

• Reverend Sterling Jetton

Pastor, Shelter Church, East Brainerd

• Ms. Stacy Johnson

Executive Director, La Paz – Chattanooga

• Mrs. Candy Johnson

President & Chief Executive Officer, Chattanooga Urban League

• Mr. Kelvin Scott

Host, 93.5 FM’s Intouch with the Community Show, Brewer Media

Administrative Assistant to Bishop Kevin Adams, Olivet Baptist Church

& employed full-time by TVA in the Nuclear Division

• Dr. Robert Sharpe

Chief Operations Officer, Hamilton County Department of Education

• Dr. Jeffrey Wilson

Pastor, New United Missionary Baptist Church

Former Hamilton County School Board Member

• Mr. Lacy Word

Transportation Manager II, Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT)

Please join with us as we congratulate these nine individuals on their accomplishment and service to the citizens of Hamilton County.

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Phone: (423) 209-7000