Cordele Dispatch, Cordele, GA

Local news

February 3, 2013

Long-time mentor, Ronnie Youngblood, retires

New Orleans, LA — After 25 years of continued service to the citizens and children of Crisp County, beloved mentor and dedicated law enforcement officer Cpl. Ronnie Youngblood celebrated his retirement this past Thursday.

A reception honored him at the Crisp County Sheriff’s Office where he served for the last 16 years of his career in numerous capacities. For eight years he worked with the Crisp County Fire and Rescue.

Youngblood was one of the first Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) instructors appointed by Sheriff Donnie Haralson in Crisp County. He also assisted in writing the curriculum for the Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety program, known as C.H.A.M.P.S.

“I have been so blessed throughout my career here,” said Youngblood. “Working with the young people in the community has been the greatest joy of my career. I have watched many of them grow up through D.A.R.E. or C.H.A.M.P.S.

“Some of them are still in school, and others have moved on to careers of their own. I still get the occasional phone call to check in or ask for advice. That means a lot to me.”

Some of those young people, Youngblood adds, have come to work with the CCSO.

Col. Billy Hancock, who has worked with Youngblood for many years described him as a great, dependable employee who you could always count on to go above and beyond the call of duty.

He said that Youngblood, also a minister, had a compassion for people due to his ministry, and that had an impact on the way he handled his job with the sheriff’s department.

“No matter what time of day or night, he always came out if he was needed, especially in situations where tender spiritual guidance was needed,” said Hancock.

He noted that Sheriff Donnie Haralson had a lot of trust in Youngblood which was exhibited when the sheriff made him one of the first D.A.R.E. instructors and resource officers at Crisp County High School.

Youngblood said he is grateful to the CCSO for the opportunities he has had to serve the community and also for the support from the community.

“I really hate to retire, but health reasons require that I do,” he said.

“Where God closes one door, he always opens another, and I will continue to walk through those doors as long as I can.

“I am looking forward to continuing God’s work and being a part of the ministry. God has blessed me to be able to do pretty much anything I want.”

Youngblood, who preaches at Bethlehem Freewill Baptist Church in south Crisp County will be ordained into the ministry at the church today at 3 p.m.


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