The Catoosa County Sheriff's Department has decided to donate a surplus vehicle to Ringgold High School in order to help students with their practice of emergency service situations.
During the Feb. 20. Board of Commissioner's meeting, Sheriff Gary Sisk explained that he'd like to donate a 2010 Ford Crown Victoria to Ringgold High School's Public Safety Class.
"A number of years ago, we did the same thing for Heritage High School's public safety class," Sisk said. "This is a vehicle that we're looking to turn over to surplus property. In these classes, they're teaching these students how to basically be emergency services."
Sisk says the students practice real scenarios and even compete against other schools the same way sports and clubs do.
"They go to competitions, and so the vehicle would be used to practice vehicle stops," he said. "We're actually putting on a crime scene competition for them coming up in March to help them practice how to process crime scenes, and that's competitions that they go to at the state level."
Sisk says the skills the students learn in the course has even led to some of the students becoming part of local agencies.
"This is a great recruitment program that we use here," Sisk said. "We've hired several of these young adults once they graduate high school, and our fire department has been involved with them quite a bit as well."
Sisk says he passed along letters from the school's assistant principal and former sheriff's deputy Travis Head, who teaches the public safety course for the school, confirming that funding and the ability to support the vehicle are already in place.
"We would keep a little bit of equipment in it as far as the screen, the console, and the light bar so they can practice their vehicle stops and things like that," Sisk explained.
The commission unanimously approved the request to donate the vehicle, and Sisk assured that the car would be monitored by the school and instructors.
"It's turned over to the school system," he said. "It's theirs, it's their responsibility, and it will be used on private property."