Eric Austin Taylor-Hair awarded Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy scholarship at South Georgia Technical College

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS –  Eric Austin Taylor-Hair of Hawkinsville, GA, was awarded the Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship at the conclusion of the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Class 20 – 02 training.

Lou Crouch of Bryon endowed this scholarship for the South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) Law Enforcement Academy in memory of Peach County Sheriff’s Office Deputies Patrick Sondron and Daryl Smallwood.  The two deputies died in the line of duty in November 2016.

Tayor-Hair expressed his appreciation to South Georgia Technical College, the Law Enforcement Academy staff and Lou Crouch.  “I am so thankful for this scholarship,” said Taylor-Hair.  “I have never put forth this much effort into schoolwork until now.  I have enjoyed the material and I want to learn as much as I can.  I saved up as much as I could to be able to pay my bills for the five months of class work.  By the end of the semester, my savings were running low and I had to work more hours on nights and weekends to make it through.  So this scholarship is a blessing.”

Taylor-Hair said that earning his POST certification has been a dream of his for a while.  “Have you ever had that little voice inside you telling you that you need to do something, but you are afraid to follow it?  I went through this for a long time before I applied for the academy.  I have always had a passion to help others and I have idolized law enforcement for as long as I can remember.

“After seeing what all was happening in the world, I decided that a change needed to be made and I wanted to be a part of it.  I wanted to change the worlds view, even it if is just as small as helping people in one of the small caution light communities.”

Taylor-Hair was very thankful to Lou Crouch for endowing the scholarship opportunity and expressed his sympathy to the families of the two law enforcement officials who passed away in the line of duty.  “I hope I can make all of them proud through my service in law enforcement,” said Taylor-Hair.

South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford met with the members of the LEA class 20 – 02, and thanked them for their commitment and service.  He also had words of praise for Lou Crouch and his support of Law Enforcement and South Georgia Technical College. “I am very thankful to Lou Crouch for his support of the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy and the SGTC Foundation,” said Dr. Watford.  “His generosity is allowing you to have the opportunity to continue your educational and career goals.  I hope you serve in a manner that honors Lou Crouch and Deputies Smallwood and Sondron.”

South Georgia Technical College Foundation Executive Director Su Ann Bird congratulated the cadets and shared, “this scholarship and others are a tremendous help to the young men and women who are training to become public servants and work as law enforcement officers here in Georgia.  An investment in an endowed scholarship will continue to give back to students indefinitely.  We appreciate what Lou Crouch and others are doing for our students and our state.  The students he is helping today with these educational opportunities may be the public servants that we count on tomorrow in our local communities.”

For more information about making a donation or establishing an endowed scholarship at South Georgia Technical College contact Su Ann Bird, SGTC Foundation Executive Director at 229.931.2110 or  Contributions may also be mailed to the SGTC Foundation, P.O. Box 6102, Americus, GA.

Individuals interested in attending the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy can contact the office at 229-931-2716 or contact Director Brett Murray at