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NW Georgia Sheriff’s Office Takes Challenge In Important Direction

Local College, Middle School Student In The Headlines

Deputies and actress inside doorway of a home.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis holding on to a sheriff’s deputy played by Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Kalin England.”

(Northwest Georgia) – Nearing 11 million views alone on Facebook in less than two weeks, the nationwide craze of police forces taking part in the “Lip Sync Challenge” has caught everyone’s attention. However, the most popular production appears to have been done right here in the Northwest Georgia mountains. And, it has the students of one college taking notice.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves nearly 30 high schools across nine counties in Northwest Georgia. It’s a college which is fairly well known among the teens in the region. An institution which teaches Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement, Georgia Northwestern makes an unexpected appearance in a viral video setting a serious tone in social media. It’s a production that has put domestic violence in the spotlight this month.

 

Young girl posing for picture outdoors. She's wearing a pink bow and pink t-shirt.
“Meliyah Davis starred in a viral video production of the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge. The video focused on the serious issue of domestic violence.”

 

It’s all in the wardrobe of 12-year-old Teasley Middle School student Meliyah Davis. When Meliyah begins school this week in Canton, Georgia, she may end up being a very noticeable face. Meliyah’s aunt, Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Christine Hedmann, actually recruited her for the filming. A Field Training Officer for the department, Hedmann also makes in appearance in the now famous video.

In Meliyah’s scenes in the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge Video, she is wearing a Georgia Northwestern Technical College t-shirt. “I liked the color and design of the shirt,” said Meliyah on why she wore the shirt. “I really want to be a police officer, though. I want to work in the jail.”

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus.

“What these law enforcement professionals did with this video is important in helping bring the issue to light,” said Law Enforcement Academy Director James Pledger. “Domestic violence knows no social-economic boundaries. Men, women, and children can be victims. It’s a continuous cycle that is hard to break. We take this very serious and train on it diligently at the (GNTC) academy.”

With domestic violence on the rise in the United States, there couldn’t be a better time to take advantage of a viral trend. “One in three women and one in four men have been victims of some form of physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime,” according to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. “Nearly 20 people every minute are physically abused by an intimate partner in the United States.”

 

Girl sitting on wooden floor in a bedroom; leaning against a wall.
“A still frame from the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department Lip Sync Challenge video shows Meliyah Davis sitting in the floor. She plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.”

 

In the video, Meliyah plays the daughter of a family dealing with an abusive parent in the home.  “I think that people shouldn’t be abusive,” said Meliyah. “The victims should call for help.” Hedmann, Meliyah’s aunt, is the deputy driving the squad car in the online hit. She and her partner are responding to a call about possible domestic violence coming from a home.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the National Domestic Violence Hotline is available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. Their website is TheHotline.org. The website offers an around-the-clock chat option. Or, you can also call the hotline at 1−800−799−7233. The National Domestic Violence Hotline.

So, what do Meliyah’s friends and family think of her overnight stardom? “My best friend, Sanai, thought it was awesome,” said Meliyah. “My family is proud and thinks I did a great job.” Meliyah’s grandmother, Sharon Davis, works in the Financial Aid department at Georgia Northwestern Technical College.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus and the Criminal Justice program every semester on the Gordon County Campus, Walker County Campus and Whitfield Murray Campus. To learn more about these programs, you can call 866-983-4682 or visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

European Officers Tour Law Enforcement At GNTC

Investigating Differences In Policing On Two Continents

 

Six people standing in front of police car as they pose side by side for a picture.
“Taking a break from a tour at the Georgia Northwestern Technical College Firing Range in Calhoun, Georgia are, from left, Calhoun (GA) Police Department Lieutenant David Nelson, French police officer Lydie Stempfle, Georgia Northwestern Technical College staffer Fabrice Sainton, French police officer Alain Stempfle, Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger, and Calhoun (GA) Police Department Criminal Investigations Department Assistant Supervisor Tom Petty.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – Alain and Lydie Stempfle started one of the longest days of their lives by shooting across France at speeds of nearly 200 miles per hours to catch a flight in Paris, France. They would then spend the day flying 30,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean for nine hours at speeds nearing 500 miles per hour before touching down in Georgia.

As amazing as that race around the planet appears to be, none of that trip would be the most interesting part of their mid-summer’s journey.

The Stempfle family came to the states to visit life-long friend, Fabrice Sainton. A staffer at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Sainton works closely with the college’s security and Law Enforcement Academy. But more than 30 years ago, he was a young man entering the police academy for the Police Nationale (National Police) in France with his friend, Alain.

Earlier this month, Alain, his wife, Lydie, and Fabrice got to visit with Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger at the Calhoun Police Department firing range in Gordon County, Georgia. Right away, there was a noticeable difference that caught the eyes of the visiting officers.

“There’s just a big difference in the equipment available to a police officer here,” said Alain. “The equipment officers have at their disposal is more intense. Rifles, heavy duty equipment, very high-powered patrol cars are all prevalent here. Officers aren’t so heavily equipped in France. And, the cars are definitely smaller.”

During the tour, Alain would get to sit behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger Calhoun (GA) Police Department Cruiser. The standard police version of the Charger comes complete with a 370-horsepower engine. The standard patrol vehicle for the Police Nationale in Vannes, France is a Peugeot 307. The much smaller patrol vehicle has 110 horsepower when it comes off of the Peugeot assembly line in Sochaux, France.

Man sits behind steering wheel of police car.
“Vannes, France Police Brigadier Alain Stempfle sits inside of a Calhoun (GA) Police Department patrol car at the Gordon County Firing Range utilized by Georgia Northwestern Technical College.”

Calhoun (GA) Police Department Sergeant Tom Petty spent some time with the tour at the area firing range, as well. Petty, who serves as the Assistant Supervisor of the Criminal Investigations Division, is also the Firearms Range Master for the department. “We have weapons available in our (patrol) cars,” said Lydie. “However, we have two, or sometimes, three officers in a car when on patrol. The policing is a little different. We never have only one officer in a car or at any situation at any time.”

Lydie, a 24-year veteran, and her husband, Alain, a 31-year veteran of the Police Nationale (National Police) assigned to the city of Vannes, France police force, both got to feel some of the training experience future law enforcement officers encounter at Georgia Northwestern. Both husband and wife hold the ranks of Brigadier (Sergeant) within the force. However, Mrs. Stempfle will soon become a Supervisor (Chief). “She is the chief whether we are at work or home,” quickly answered Mr. Stempfle with a smile.

 

As for working on patrol, Alain rides a motorcycle in the force’s escort division. Lydie is in a patrol car. However, both see big differences in how they work with the public and how U.S. officers do the job. “It’s just a different society. It’s a different way of thinking,” explained Alain. “When someone gets pulled over in France, there isn’t a defensive posturing by the person who is being pulled over or questioned. If there is a police situation, the people appear to be more willing to help or assist the officer.”

In the couple’s combined 55 years of police force experience, only the husband has ever used his service weapon in the line of duty. “During a traffic stop, the motorist fired his weapon at my patrol,” said Alain. “It was the only time I ever fired my weapon on the job.”

Four people watching firearms instruction outdoors.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger, left, displays some of the gun safety procedures his students learn during his program. From left are, Pledger, French Police Officer Lydie Stempfle, French Police Officer Alain Stempfle, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College staffer Fabrice Sainton.”

When it comes to being on patrol, Pledger says he teaches his students that you need to learn how to properly control a situation. “We are teaching students when it is necessary, and when it is not necessary, to take any action,” said Pledger. “Knowing when to use force, and recognizing the amount of force necessary, is a huge part of doing the job well.”

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. To learn more about the program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

Law Enforcement Grads Honored At GNTC

Police Chief Speaks On Social Media, Serving Today

 

Graduates standing on stage with their instructor.
“The graduating class of the July 2018 Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. Shown, from left, are Mason Woodard, Matthew Wilson, Justin Watson, Isreal Smith, Joshua Morse, Jonathan Martin, Hunter Densmore, Dustin Bruce, and Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger.”

 

(Calhoun, GA) – “People see the troubling things involving law enforcement on social media these days and it affects all police officers,” said Tony Pyle, Chief of the Calhoun, Georgia Police Department, during a keynote speech to the latest graduating class of the Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement Academy. “As the next generation of law enforcement, you can play a part in changing that.”

As one of Chief Pyle’s first duties on the job, appointed to the position on July 1, he spoke to the eight new graduates from GNTC’s program designed to train those who wish to pursue careers in criminal justice. “Today is a very different time to be a police officer,” said Pyle. “It’s a very difficult time. It’s a very difficult job today. These graduates could have chosen anything to take at this college. They chose to be police officers.”

Graduates receiving honors at GNTC’s July 2018 Basic Law Enforcement Academy Graduation were Dustin Bruce (Ringgold, GA), Hunter Densmore (Calhoun, GA), Jonathan Martin (Summerville, GA), Joshua Morse (Calhoun, GA), Isreal Smith (Calhoun, GA), Justin Watson (Calhoun, GA), Matthew Wilson (Trion, GA), and Mason Woodard (Calhoun, GA). In addition to family and friends attending the ceremony, regional police chiefs, sheriffs, and other law enforcement officials came to offer their support of the new class.

“If you ever forget your mission, just look on the side of your patrol car and read what it says,” said Pyle. “To protect and to serve.”  Pyle began his career in law enforcement in 1988 handling college security at Rome, Georgia’s Berry College. Two years later, he joined the Calhoun, Georgia Police Department. During his time on the force, he would serve as a patrol officer, as a Detective Sergeant and Commander of the Drug Task Force, and as a Detective, Lieutenant, and Captain within in the Criminal Investigation Division before becoming Chief.

 

Student standing on stage with his award, beside his instructor.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduate Justin Watson, left, receiving his ‘Top Gun’ award for excellence in marksmanship from Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Jim Pledger.”

 

This class of new law enforcement specialists is the 20th graduating class under GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger. Joshua Morris was named the program’s “Honor Graduate” for earning the highest grade point average in his class. Justin Watson was given the program’s “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship. Both Morris and Watson are former members of the United States Marine Corps. Graduate Dustin Bruce served as a Ranger in the United States Army.

 

Student standing on stage with his award, beside his instructor.
“Georgia Northwestern Technical College Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduate Joshua Morris, left, receiving his ‘Honor Graduate’ award for the highest grade point average in his graduating class from Georgia Northwestern Technical College Program Director Jim Pledger.”

 

For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

GNTC offers more than 200 programs online and on-campus. Campuses are located in Ringgold (Catoosa County Campus), Rome (Floyd County Campus), Calhoun (Gordon County Campus), Rockmart (Polk County Campus), Rock Spring (Walker County Campus), and Dalton (Whitfield Murray Campus).
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 16,402 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,750 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 8,652 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Held Tuesday, Oct. 31

 

BLE Training Class #201701
Graduates of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 are: Back row (from left to right) Jonathan L. DeFoor, Jason L. Phillips, Samuel H. Clemmons, Franz E. Orozco Avila, Josiah E. Hemm, and Billy F. Smith III. Front row (from left to right) Jeffrey S. Nicholson, Kinsey P. Morin, Kassidy J. Kirby, Alexis D. Stanley, and Nigel P. Torres.

(Northwest Georgia) – Eleven Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) law enforcement students graduated from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 on Tuesday, Oct. 31, during a ceremony held at the conference center on the Gordon County Campus.

 

Friends, family, advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, community leaders, and fellow law enforcement officers from across the Northwest Georgia region also were in attendance at the ceremony in Calhoun to honor the graduates.

 

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and introducing current and former staff from the academy.

 

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Kenneth Dodd, police chief of the Polk County Police Department.

 

Dodd began his law enforcement career as a jailer for the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office in 1991. After graduating from the Police Academy at Floyd Junior College (now Georgia Highlands College) in 1992, he became a deputy sheriff.

 

In 1994, Dodd became a patrolman at the Polk County Police Department and worked his way up to police chief in 2008.

 

Dodd reminded the graduates that character is a key attribute of being a police officer.

 

“The most important skills in being a cop are honesty, integrity, and courage,” said Dodd. “That has everything to do with your attitude and how you approach things, so I encourage you to have a positive attitude every day.”

 

Billy F. Smith III was the student speaker for the ceremony.

 

“When we first met, we were different people with different backgrounds all pursuing a career in law enforcement,” said Smith. “We would all rise together and face each challenge as a team.”

Top Gun Award
Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, presents the “Top Gun” Award to Billy F. Smith III (left) for excellence in marksmanship. Smith also was the student speaker for the ceremony.

Smith also was presented with the “Top Gun” Award for excellence in marksmanship. Jonathan L. DeFoor received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

 

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701 are: Samuel H. Clemmons, Jonathan L. DeFoor, Josiah E. Hemm, Kassidy J. Kirby, Kinsey P. Morin, Jeffrey S. Nicholson, Franz E. Orozco Avila, Jason L. Phillips, Billy F. Smith, III, Alexis D. Stanley, and Nigel P. Torres.

Academic Award
Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, presents the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award to Jonathan L. DeFoor (left) for having the highest grade point average in Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201701.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 14,151 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,956 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,195 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.  For more information about GNTC, visit us at GNTC.edu or contact a Student Help Center on any one of our six campus locations at 866-983-4682.  GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Held Thursday, Feb. 23

graduates-group
Graduates of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201602 are: Back row (from left to right) Thomas Williams, Bryce Momon, Brett Nesbitt, Micah Alexander, and Andrew Hooker. Front Row (from left to right) Joshua McFadden, Keasha Brown, Enrico Garcia, Vanessa Robledo, and Gabe Shipman.

(Calhoun, GA) – Friends, family, and the community gathered at the Conference Center located at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor students graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201602 on Thursday, Feb. 23.

During the ceremony, 10 law enforcement officers were recognized in front of a standing room only crowd. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, community leaders, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region and beyond also were in attendance at the ceremony.

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and introducing current and former staff from the academy.

“I would like to give my appreciation to the chiefs, sheriffs, officers, and people from different emergency services that are here,” said Pledger. “Many of these people are also instructors for us and they come here and they pass along their expertise to these young individuals that are graduating today.”

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Mike Barton, director of Internal Affairs for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Joshua McFadden was the student speaker for the ceremony. McFadden told his classmates that everything they do from this day forward is earned.

“I know we will all be successful in this career path and we all sacrificed a lot of time away from our families to get here,” said McFadden.

joshua-mcfadden-student-speaker
Joshua McFadden was the student speaker for the ceremony.
enrico-garcia-l-and-jim-pledger-r
Enrico A. Garcia (left) was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship by Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC.

Enrico A. Garcia was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship and Thomas E. Williams, III received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201501 are: Micah C. Alexander, Keasha S. Brown, Enrico A. Garcia, Christopher A. Hooker, Joshua B. McFadden, Kaden B. Momon, Brett L. Nesbitt, Vanessa S. Robledo, Gabriel B. Shipman, and Thomas E. Williams, III.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

Basic Law Enforcement: Next Classes This May

Training To Enforce The Law: Basic Law Enforcement Academy

gntc-ble-pledger-graham
The GNTC Law Enforcement Academy is now accepting applications for the February 2017 class!
If interested, contact the Law Enforcement Academy’s main office at 706-378-1728. You may also e-mail to dmcclellan@gntc.edu. Seats are limited!!!
#gocats #catscountry

French Connection Brings Basic Law Enforcement To Forefront

Georgia Northwestern’s Sainton Shares Story Of Police Work In Two Nations

 

fabrice-gntc
“French Police Nationale officer and GNTC alum Fabrice Sainton, left, poses for a picture in a Basic Law Enforcement classroom on the college’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. Also shown is Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – He’s personally guarded the biggest names on the planet. From actors to royalty, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alum Fabrice Sainton truly has worldwide experience in law enforcement. But, after more than 20 years in the business, it’s what he’s learned about his craft through law enforcement education at GNTC that has him giving praise.

 

“I’ve worked in law enforcement with the “Police Nationale” (National Police) in France since 1989. It’s an amazing job,” said Sainton of his service as an armed police escort for his country. “But now, the academy at GNTC is exceptional. Truly exceptional. It helped me learn what I needed to in order to grow in my field. It gave me the background and the reasoning behind what gets done in this profession.”

 

“Fabrice is one of a kind,” said GNTC Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) Academy Director Jim Pledger. “His background in the law really has made me, as an educator, work even harder at doing my job and providing what’s necessary to my recruits.” The BLE Academy begins a new class of recruits twice a year at the Gordon County Campus of GNTC in Calhoun, Georgia.

 

Going to GNTC was a simple choice. “Coming to the U.S., my lifestyle and my income changed greatly,” said Sainton. “But, I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity like enrolling in the law enforcement academy. It was an eye-opener for me.”

 

Currently, on leave from the French Police Force, Sainton works on the support staff at the Technical College System of Georgia college while working on his educational goals. Earning an associate’s degree in 2013 through GNTC, he anticipates earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University this December. Then, he hopes to enter graduate school at Reinhardt University.

 

“I want to learn all I can while I’m here. There are many differences in law enforcement work between the U.S. and France,” added Sainton. “In France, the only guns that are owned by the public are only for hunting. We take that very serious. We also handle policing differently, in regards to patrolling. Here, a department will send out one officer to patrol an area. In France, you always have a partner with you. It’s just a different country that looks at things differently than we do in the United States.”

 

Sainton, a career officer for more than two decades in France, was first trained to be an armed motorcycle escort. The 48-year-old has guarded everyone from Princess Diana to President Clinton to the King of Spain.

fabrice-and-ray
GNTC alum Fabrice Sainton, left, while on duty with the Police Nationale in France during his service while in-country, before his stateside assignment. This particular detail had him guarding Ray Charles, right, during one of the musician’s trips to France.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Ray Charles, and other celebrities have been special guests of the country that I would personally guard on many occasions,” added Sainton. “Schwarzenegger still e-mails me. I’ve led many details for royalty from other nations during major events. But, not everything was glamorous. I did lose Ray Charles once.”  When asked if Sainton meant the blind musician from the United States, he simply said, “Oui. Yes.” Apparently, Charles decided to leave his hotel room in the middle of the night and take a cab into town. When he finally returned after sunrise, Sainton met him at his cab and asked, “Mr. Charles, where have you been?” The world renowned singer simply kept walking into the hotel and said, “I just couldn’t sleep at all.”

 

Six years ago, Sainton left his assignment in France to fill an assignment stateside with military personnel in the United States in 2010. “I worked with American soldiers who needed to learn French for overseas assignments,” said Sainton. “Work in many foreign countries required soldiers to know Arabic. However, some of those same countries actually have even deeper roots in French culture. Many of them were originally French territories. So, many people there speak French.”

 

A little more than a year later, Sainton would be asked by his country to move closer to Atlanta to be more accessible to the French Consulate located in Georgia’s capital. “That’s when I moved to Marietta and, ultimately, met my wife,” proudly stated Sainton. “She was helping me find an apartment in Calhoun at the time. My wife always tells me that things happen for a reason. I was the lucky one, for sure.”

 

It was after this move, Sainton, a career National Police Officer for France, made the decision to pursue dual citizenship. In the next few years, Sainton would take GED® courses for a short time (because his equivalent high school diploma would not transfer) and pass the GED® exams, take English as a Second Language courses, graduate from the GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy, and earn an associate’s degree.

 

And, as tough as all that was to do, now Sainton has a tough choice to make this December. “Well, my long-term leave is up with the National Police and I have to return to France to meet with them and decide whether or not I want to stay with the force or move on,” said Sainton. “After going to GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy, I’m about to earn my bachelor’s degree and pursue more education. Now, I have to look at my age and where I am in life and see what’s best for me.”

 

Sainton has two stepchildren with his wife, Crystal, 19-year-old McKenzie, and 15-year-old Hunter. He also has two older daughters back in France, Lucie is 23 and Justine is 20. “I have a lot of family to consider in my decision,” said Sainton. “I have a brother who lives in New Caledonia, near Australia. And, also, my parents are back in France, of course. It will be a tough decision. Plus, I’m going to be 50 soon. I don’t run like I used to. Maybe it’s time to slow down.”
For more information on the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, you can call at 706.378.1735 or send an e-mail to jpledger@gntc.edu. You can also contact the college’s toll-free number at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

 

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

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