CPAW visits Americus-Sumter High

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, May 9, 2018

AMERICUS — Members of the Community Prevention Alliance Workgroup (CPAW) recently visited Americus Sumter High School to speak to the junior and senior classes about the importance of making good choices in their personal and social lives, and how those choices can impact their future. The CPAW is a collaboration of individuals and agencies focusing on reducing both heavy and binge drinking and reducing the early onset of alcohol use.
Members involved with the event were Nancy Collins with Middle Flint, truancy officer Stephen Woodson, Maj. Joe Monts with Sumter Sheriff’s Office, Krystal Heath with Family Connection, Katrisha Williams from Adolescent Health, Shelia Hines from Child Support Services, and Karen Robinson from Middle Flint Beautiful Minds and Apex Services.
Additionally, guest speakers included Chief Deputy Col. Eric Bryant of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Georgia State Patrol’s Assistant Post 10 Commander Sgt. Richard Peck, and Patricia Williams of the Georgia Department of Public Health, all of whom shared words of wisdom and warning.
Bryant and Peck helped the students understand the human element from a law enforcement officer’s perspective. They both spoke of their duties and responsibilities in circumstances, such as traffic stops and escalating situations. Williams spoke to students about the risks of texting while driving, as well as House Bill 673 (Hands-Free Bill) which will soon make it illegal to use hand-held devices while driving a vehicle in Georgia.
At the conclusion of the presentation, students participated in hands-on activities and had an opportunity to earn prizes. Several tables were provided by local agencies so students could learn more about local services and accident prevention. Many students got to speak one-on-one with law enforcement officers about careers and real-world issues. The Sheriff’s Office parked the Breath Alcohol Testing Trailer (BAT Trailer) in the gym parking lot. The BAT Trailer, a unit provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety, is often used at roadblocks and contains two lockup cells and a breathalyzer machine called the Intoxilizer 9000. Students got to step inside the trailer with an officer from the Sheriff’s Office to see first-hand how the machine works and learn more about the effects of alcohol consumption. Inside, students tried on alcohol impairment simulation goggles, which allow the wearer to experience the effects of alcohol abuse, and tried to pass a field sobriety test. Students learned how even the smallest amounts of alcohol can have deadly effects.

In photo. at left, above, Sgt. John Harty of Sumter County Sheriff’s Office speaks to Lela Williams and Ke’asia Mullins in the BAT Trailer. Harty is the West Central Traffic Enforcement Network coordinator for the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety.