Chatham County Sheriff Al St. Lawrence swore in 12 new correctional officers on Monday after completing six weeks of basic training
The deputies took their oaths in front of family and friends, signaling the completion of their training.
Three of the new deputies are from the sheriff's office's new Cadet Undergraduate Program.
"It's very unusual because basically we are hiring young people who are 19 years or older who are attending college, and at the beginning of the career," said Maj. Kim Middleton. "They think they want to go into law enforcement or corrections, and we want to show them what's out there for them."
"I loved every minute of my training, and so did my fellow colleagues," said new deputy Bradley McClellan. "We learned each other's weaknesses and strong suits, so we built each other up as a group."
This class had the highest combines average of any basic jail officer training class. The course includes training in defensive tactics, emergency medical, inmate rights, as well as professionalism and ethics.
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