Shortly after Floyd County Sheriff Dave Roberson was elected last year, he met with local military recruiters to look into a program that would help soldiers exiting service find jobs in law enforcement.

On Tuesday, Roberson and U.S. Army Lt. Col. David Hensel signed a Partnership for Youth Success agreement to facilitate the transition of members of the military into the ranks of the sheriff’s office.

During the Tuesday ceremony, Roberson pointed to the Army banners lining the City Auditorium stage that promoted values such as loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, honor, integrity, trust and courage.

“That’s what we look for in officers in our community,” Roberson said.

He said that, over his 26-year career with the sheriff’s office, some of the best employees had come out of the military.

“We’re looking for future leaders and we want to make this a great partnership between us and the U.S. Army,” Roberson said.

Hensel, commander of the U.S. Army Recruiting Battalion in Marietta, said the PAYS program is a positive way to cement the relationship between the Army and local communities across the nation.

When young soldiers enlist through the PAYS program, they are guaranteed at least five job interviews and possible employment after completing their term in the military

“Communities give us their best young men and women. They go off and do their term of enlistment where they serve their country,” Hensel said. “They gain leadership experience, they learn valuable job skills, they have inculcated in them values of public service. Then we give them back to you better than they were before.”

Floyd County Commissioner Scotty Hancock, who served in the U.S. Army for seven years, spoke of the experience he gained. He said he enlisted when he was 17 because he knew he needed a path for the future.

“The military made me what I am,” Hancock said. “This program is unbelievable, not just for the sheriff’s office but to expand that to the entire county — because of the skill sets (soldiers) bring, their leadership ability, their ability to do what’s right and accomplish a mission.”

Following the agreement signing, Hensel administered service oaths to five young recruits: Vicente Sanchez of Rome, Leonzo Calel of Rome, Bailey Frickey of Dallas, Zanay Martin-Taylor of Dallas, and Ethan Zell of Adairsville.

Sanchez just finished his basic training as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve and has already made contact with Roberson about job prospects.


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