Community Services Division
The Community Services Division is responsible for public education on crime prevention and various volunteer service programs. Community Services is just another positive aspect of the Community Oriented Policing concept adopted by the Columbia County Sheriff's Office. Citizens are willing to participate in programs such as the Reserve Unit, the Explorer Program, the ATV Unit and the Citizens Auxiliary Unit because it gives the community a sense of security and partnership with its local law enforcement.
Reserve Deputy Training
For more information, please contact the Columbia County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) Community Services Division at 706-541-2856.
The first Columbia County Sheriff's Office Reserve Unit began their service in April 1993. Since that time, over 200 men and women have participated in the program. The Reserve Unit saves our taxpayers thousands of dollars each year. There are currently 16 Reserve Officers serving the CCSO, and these officers have the exact same responsibilities and authority as full time paid officers. In 2022 their combined total hours were 1,931. They volunteer their time in all areas of the Sheriff's Office, including Patrol, Investigations, Vice and Narcotics, Special Operations, and the Detention Center.
Any person desiring to join the CCSO's Reserve Unit must satisfactorily complete the State of Georgia Mandate Course to become a Certified Peace Officer. Information regarding this training can be found at the Georgia Public Safety Training Center Basic Training Division website.
Explorer Post 63
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office Explorer Post 63 was implemented in 1996 and it consists of high school students seeking a career in law enforcement. Explorer Post 63 members attend various law enforcement training biweekly throughout the year. These students learn about the different divisions of the Columbia County Sheriff's Office such as Road Patrol, Special Operations, Investigations, Detention Center, and Court Services. Explorers also volunteer in programs throughout the community such as Day with a Deputy, Columbia County Fair, and 4th of July Fireworks event.
View more information on the Explorer Post 63 page.
In January 1996, the Columbia County Sheriff's Office established an All Terrain Vehicle (ATV) Unit made up of citizens throughout the county who graciously volunteer their time and equipment to assist local law enforcement. The ATV Unit has been mobilized during manhunts and in the search for missing persons to transport supplies and manpower. The unit has also been a tremendous asset to help with security and parking at various events throughout the county, such as the Columbia County Fair. Members of the ATV Unit are required to attend the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy as well as attend mandatory meetings and training sessions. Rider safety, search and rescue practical exercises, and CPR are some of the topics covered in training. The ATV Unit is a great resource of manpower and equipment to augment the CCSO in emergency situations.
Citizens Auxiliary Unit
The citizens of Columbia County are a valuable resource. Sheriff Whittle realizes that citizens are willing to provide volunteer support to enhance his agency's efforts to deter crime, and the Auxiliary Unit was initiated to capitalize on this resource. Auxiliary members have donated their time in many ways, such as fingerprinting children, directing traffic, assisting the Detention Center, and delivering bottled water and hot meals to deputies in the field during a crisis situation.
If you are interested in further information regarding any of these volunteer organizations, contact the Community Services Unit at 706-541-2856. All Auxiliary members must attend the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy as a prerequisite.
Around 2000 students at eight middle schools are taught each year. The CCSO currently has six G.R.E.A.T. (Gang Resistance Education Training) instructors. G.R.E.A.T. is taught to all 6th-grade students in the Columbia County school system.
View more information on the G.R.E.A.T. page.
Neighborhood Watch Program
On a national scale there is approximately one police officer for every 2,000 citizens. Columbia County currently has over 100 active subdivisions participating in Neighborhood Watch. Columbia County Sheriff's Office Neighborhood Watch Program encourages various neighborhoods to come together in order to report and prevent crime. We teach citizens how neighborhood watch works, why it works, and how the citizen can become actively involved in Neighborhood Watch. In essence our Neighborhood Watch Program teaches the citizens to become the "eyes and ears of the Sheriff's Office".
To develop a Neighborhood Watch in your area, contact the Community Services Division at 706-541-2856.
View more information on the Neighborhood Watch Program page.
Citizens Law Enforcement Academy
The Citizen's Law Enforcement Academy is a program designed to give Columbia County residents an insight into the everyday operations of the Sheriff's Office. Participants will hear presenters from each of the divisions of the Sheriff's Office including: the Patrol Division, the Special Operations Division, the Detention Center, Investigations, and the 911 Center. They will also have firearms training which will include live fire on the Sheriff's Office shooting range.
This "free" course is offered each Thursday evening (6:30 pm to 9 pm) for 10 weeks, and is open to Columbia County residents 18 years of age and older. Please see our Calendar for future academy dates.
Anyone interested in attending the class should contact the Sheriff's Office Community Services Division at 706-541-2856 or download the following application:
View more information on the Citizens Law Enforcement Academy page.
Crime Prevention Presentations
Crime prevention in and around your home is essential. View more tips on home security, vehicle theft prevention, and child internet safety.
View more information on the Crime Prevention page.
- Georgia Special Olympics Torch Run
- Day with a Deputy
- Columbia County Christmas Parade