Sheriff Ralston Announces Initiation of C.H.A.M.P.S. Program in Partnership With County Schools

“We are pleased and excited to announce the Initiation of the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program in partnership with the Gordon County Schools System beginning this school year. Preparation for the implementation of this program actually began several months ago, with consultation between the previous superintendent, Dr. Kim Fraker, the new Superintendent Alice Mashburn, and myself, discussing all the benefits of C.H.A.M.P.S., scheduling, personnel, and other matters. Dr. Fraker and Superintendent Mashburn immediately concurred with the idea and we have actively collaborated in getting this off the ground.

C.H.A.M.P.S. is an acronym for “Choosing Healthy Activities and Methods Promoting Safety”. C.H.A.M.P.S. was developed by the Georgia Sheriff’s Association in 2003 as a pilot program. It focuses on 5th grade students in each of the six County elementary schools. The wide ranging program consists of several ‘elements’, or individual topics of concern to the students: Introduction, Alcohol, Bullying, CHAMPS Project (Essay/Poster Contest), Choices and Consequences, Graduation, Home Alone/Child Abduction Safety, Gangs, Firearms Safety, Internet Safety and Social Media, Illicit Drug Abuse, Prescription Drug Abuse, Tobacco, Stress, and Avoiding Violence. The course of study is one period daily at each school for twelve weeks. The course work is overseen by a specially trained and certified deputy sheriff who is assigned to the School Resource Unit full time. Instruction is scheduled to begin in September.

Sheriff’s Lieutenant Brian Brannon, a nine year veteran of the Sheriff’s Office, has been selected as the C.H.A.M.P.S. Program Coordinator. Lieutenant Brannon graduated in the top percentile of his instructor training at the Georgia Sheriff’s Association Training Center, and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience from his years of service. Brian is a dedicated peace officer who loves children and is passionate about the success of C.H.A.M.P.S. The program gives us the added benefit of having another sworn, full time deputy in the Schools System. We enjoy a wonderful partnership with the County Schools, and we know the talented and devoted educators are just as excited about C.H.A.M.P.S. as we are. We all look forward to a great and successful program that will meet the needs of students and help them progress academically, socially, and provide lessons that they can carry with them to adulthood.”

Front Row, (left-to-right) : Ms. Shelley Allen, Ms. Deborah Brock, Ms. Monica Holt, Superintendent Alice Mashburn, Ms.Kederia Angland, and Ms. Kelly Rampy,  Back Row: Captain Jack Jenkins, SRO unit, Lieutenant Brian Brannon, C.H.A.M.P.S. Coordinator, Ms. Beth Herod, Ms. Tara Green, Ms. Rebecca Champion, Major Ritchie Harris, and Captain Ben Worley.

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