Community Outreach a Year-Round Priority for the Fulton County Sheriff's Office
As 2017 comes to a close, the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO) in Atlanta has spent the year reaching out to the community. The Georgia Constitution specifies that sheriff’s offices perform educational services as a means to prevent and reduce crime. Fulton County’s Sheriff Ted Jackson takes that to heart and goes beyond, with several programs to help families throughout the year.
Sheriff Jackson noticed that when he met people in the community, many grandmothers were raising their grandchildren. For Thanksgiving, Sheriff Jackson and the Community Outreach Section of the FCSO collected food donations to provide meal baskets for more than 200 families with an emphasis on those grandmothers stepping in to raise the children of their sons and daughters. The agency collected turkeys and other food items from civilians, deputies, and officers who all looked forward to sharing with others.
Through a collaboration with Toys For Tots, the FCSO was able to make Christmas a bit brighter for 50 children of 10 families in the community. The Community Outreach team sorted and wrapped dolls, art kits, games, and other toys for the children. As with the Thanksgiving basket project, the Christmas gift giving increases every year.
The Fulton County Sheriff’s Office has numerous annual programs to help the community throughout the year, as well.
The Youth Intervention Program invites youth to see the Fulton County Jail and learn about the Justice System from Fulton County Superior Court Judge Shawn LaGrua and her team of prosecutors and public defenders. The Youth Intervention Program was featured on the A&E documentary series Beyond Scared Straight for six episodes, which can be viewed on iTunes.
In August, the FCSO and the Volunteer Chaplains Association hold the annual Homeless Initiative to help the less fortunate. Volunteers and staff distribute personal hygiene kits to residents, as well as provide meals, clothing, and other services. Counseling is also available from the chaplaincy.
In the fall, Sheriff Jackson hosts H.Y.P.E., the annual youth conference. H.Y.P.E. stands for Helping Youth Prosper and Evolve. This day of education and real talk allows students to learn about the justice system, etiquette, health topics through forums with judges, educators, health care professionals, and motivational speakers. The event is hosted every year for 800 students and their families at Atlanta Metropolitan College, another partnership.
These efforts come second nature to this professional organization that takes pride in enforcing the laws and supporting their neighbors.
Photo: Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson
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