After years as detective, Sweatt now enjoying role as SRO

Published 9:06 am Friday, January 26, 2024

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After many years as a detective, Amy Sweatt has moved into a new role for the LaGrange Police Department, one that requires a different approach entirely.

Sweatt has served the local community for over 25 years in the LaGrange Police Department and now works as an SRO for Clearview Elementary School.

She had taken on many roles in the department with one of her longest assignments being as a Special Victims Unit detective, where she worked closely with the elderly, children and other victims in the community who were unable to advocate for themselves.

“I just thought being around the younger kids would be a good opportunity for me,” Sweatt said. “When the department decided they were going to expand the SRO program to elementary schools, I decided that I needed a new opportunity and a new challenge after being a detective for as long as I had been. I just needed something new, something different.”

Upon assuming her new role, Sweatt expressed that she has had to adapt to using different methods of discipline for students who display delinquent behavior as policing the streets is a far cry from patrolling an elementary school.

“One thing I’m learning is that I have to change the way that I think about things — especially because of the ages of the kids I’m dealing with here,” Sweatt said. “It’s not all about putting hands on them or putting them in handcuffs, obviously, because they’re too young for that, but they still have to come to an understanding that this behavior is not acceptable.”

As Sweatt has become more accustomed to taking a softer approach to discipline methods, she has also taken advice from the Clearview Elementary School faculty and staff around her. 

“I’m learning from these teachers and these administrators the right language to use, the right words and talking about making good choices,” Sweatt said. “It’s a whole different verbiage that I have to use here, obviously than on the street.”

The Troup County School Board has also taken measures to meet with SROs throughout the county to devise additional methods to protect schools.

“We just had a meeting yesterday at the school board where all the SROs were present, talking about some initiatives they’re putting in place,” Sweatt said. The Troup County School Board is working hard to make sure their kids are safe, and I’m proud to be a part of that.”