Construction of the estimated $8.5 million new home for the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association off the Madison bypass is continuing despite some delays in construction supplies.
The organization, according to Shayne Goddard, director of development, property and facilities, Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Homes Foundation, said construction of the 23,000-square-foot facility should be completed in October.
The site, directly across the bypass from Morgan Medical Center, sits on a 20-acre plot of land with access to the bypass. Local businessman Pat Reams donated three acres of the property to the organization, said Terry Norris, executive director, Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.
Once completed, Norris said, the structure will serve as the administrative office of four organizations including the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home Foundation and the Sheriffs’ Retirement Fund of Georgia.
The Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home manages five separate youth home campuses across the state, established “to give our state’s most at-risk children the love, safety and stability needed to become mature, successful adults,” the groups website says.
Currently, the organizations are housed in Henry County. Norris said construction of the new facility, which will be owned by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Youth Home Foundation, will allow for needed expansion for the groups. The building will also provide additional space for training for approximately 75 law enforcement officers. The same space will serve as a statewide command center in the case of a natural disaster or civil disturbance where law enforcement is deployed.
“We are excited to be coming to Morgan County and are looking for community support,” says Goddard. He says the added element of the training facility will have a statewide impact for the facility.
“It’s going to allow us to not only train our youth home staff to better serve our kids but will also allow for us to train sheriffs, command staff and chaplains that will then go back and work in their communities.”
Morgan County Sheriff Robert Markley said locally the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office is looking forward to having the ability to train local deputies at the facility.
“To have this level of training capability so close at hand for our deputies and the law enforcement community as a whole will be invaluable. We welcome the completion of this facility and look forward to a long and continued partnership.”
Once completed Goddard estimated approximately 30 people will work out of the facility. Norris said the organizations are currently planning on an appropriate grand opening. “We hope to make it a significant event,” he says.
All 159 sheriffs in Georgia are members of the association whose expressed goal is to “promote and further professionalize the office of sheriff,” Norris says.
The Georgia Sheriffs’ Association was founded in 1954 and includes more than 30,000 “honorary members” across the state.