SHERIFF BILLY HANCOCK GRADUATES FROM ACADEMY
Sheriff Hancock successfully completed the 160-hour sheriffs-elect academy on Friday, December 16. Sheriff Hancock and 33 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.
Sheriff Hancock and the other newly-elected sheriffs attended the training in Forsyth. The Honorable Georgia Supreme Court Chief Justice Hugh P. Thompson 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 Hancock 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 Sheriffs’ Association.
The course was initiated by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association in partnership with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council who drafted legislation in 1976 requiring every newly elected 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. Today marks the completion of the tenth sheriffs-elect academy since the 1976 mandate. Sheriff Hancock of Crisp County served as the class president, elected by his peers. During today’s ceremony Sheriff Hancock was presented with the Leadership Award.