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Hall Sheriff’s Office deputies, staff join school mentoring program
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Center Point Director of Mentoring Marie Davis offers instruction to new mentors with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday, July 31.

More than a dozen employees of the Hall County Sheriff’s Office have joined a mentoring program through the nonprofit Center Point to meet weekly with students.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Derreck Booth said 18 people have signed up for the program, with almost half already completing the training to spend time with students once a week.

Booth said the idea came from community service officer Jeremy Grindle, who thought it was a “good way to bridge the gap ... between law enforcement and our students.”

“When kids, students, young people come into close contact with deputies, usually it’s for some sort of crisis situation they’re going through. This is an opportunity for our folks to have a positive impact in the school system and with these young people,” Booth said.

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From left, Deputy Chris Farmer, Julie Webb, Community Service Officer Chuck Poteet, Lt. Scott Ware, Community Service Officer Vickie Burrell and Jena Brown of the Hall County Sheriff's Office attend a meeting Tuesday, July 31, to discuss the department's mentoring program with Center Point. Others taking part not pictured were Deputy Hilary Tolan and Capt. Cindy Mustachio.

Center Point personnel trained some of the sheriff’s office mentors in the past week. The jobs of these mentors include crime scene technicians, community service officers and employees in the administrative bureau.

“The growing number of certified and civilian employees joining this program on a weekly basis is a testament to where the hearts of our people are,” Sheriff Gerald Couch said in a statement. “The students of the county are our future, and I can think of no better way to pour into them than to join Center Point in its mentoring program. I wholeheartedly support the initiative, another way the Hall County Sheriff’s Office strives to be a positive part of the community.”

School counselors from the Hall County and Gainesville city school systems will identify the children for the program, who will be matched with the mentors from the sheriff’s office.

Booth said mentors should expect to hear from the counselors within the month.

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