Dillan Jerkins of Plains awarded SGTC Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy scholarship

Published 2:10 pm Monday, April 24, 2023

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From Staff Reports


AMERICUS – Dillan Jerkins of Plains, GA, was awarded the Smallwood-Sondron Law Enforcement Academy Scholarship at the conclusion of the South Georgia Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Class 23 – 01 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.

Jerkins expressed his appreciation to South Georgia Technical College, the Law Enforcement Academy staff and Lou Crouch.  “This scholarship will be extremely helpful in allowing me to continue my education,” said Jerkins.  “My plan is to continue my education towards an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice at South Georgia Technical College immediately and this scholarship will help make this possible.

“I have lived in the Sumter County area my entire life and plan to stay here and raise my future children.  I decided to work for the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office in order to give back to my community and do my part to help keep this area safe,” said Jerkins.

The recent graduate of the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy is marrying his fiancé and they recently purchased a home in Sumter County. “I want my future children to grow up in the same safe and quiet community that I was fortunate enough to grow up in.  I left a well-paying maintenance job voluntarily to work for the Sheriff’s office, and this scholarship will greatly help me in affording my continuing education.”

Jerkins said he had no regrets about changing careers.  “This scholarship will help me realize my dreams while also helping as many people as I can in the Sumter County area.  I want to be the best that I can be for my community and this scholarship and education is helping make this possible.”

South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford 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 students to have the opportunity to continue their 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 Jerkins 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 donating or establishing an endowed scholarship at South Georgia Technical College contact Su Ann Bird, SGTC Foundation Executive Director at 229.931.2110 or sbird@southgatech.edu.  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 bmurray@southgatech.edu.  The next class will begin Summer Semester 2023 and the program is being condensed into an 11-week academy.  Financial aid is available and students will earn credit toward an associate degree in Criminal Justice.