TIFTON, GA (WALB) - A Police woman with the Tifton Police Department has spent the last twenty years keeping students at Tift County High School safe.
Sergeant Toni Gann has mentored countless children during her time as the school's first resource officer, but her duties as a role model extend beyond the regular school year. she spends part of every summer working with the Tifton Housing Authority's free summer camp for 8-to-12 year-olds.
She said her dedication to working with children is simply her calling.
Sergeant Toni Gann works out of a small office at Tift County high school for most of the year as the school's resource officer. Her passion for working with kids keeps her motivated.
"I think, you know, we're all put on this world for a purpose. I think the lord puts us here for a purpose, and I think my purpose was, you know, with working with kids. And I love the kids," said Sgt. Toni Gann, Tifton Police Department.
She adores children's honesty, and is happy to be the one they turn to in their time of need.
"Maybe they don't have anyone at home that they can talk to, and they may feel more comfortable talking to me there at the school because I'm there with them every day," Gann said.
Her service with children extends into the summer with the camp the Tifton Housing Authority hosts with the Tifton Police Department.
"You know, we brought in guest speakers. We'd take them on field trips. I mean, we took them to the animal shelter. Just some little small thing like the animal shelter to where they taught them how to act around, you know, when they're around a strange dog," said Gann.
One summer Gann and other counselors took the kids to the ocean, which was the first time many campers had seen the beach.
"And they had an awesome time. They had a ball. I mean, we were a little nervous trying to keep up with the kids in all the water, but it was all still worth it. (They wear you out a little bit?) Just a little bit. (laughs)," Gann said.
She said she develops life long memories through her service to the community.
"Knowing some of the backgrounds of these kids, and where they come from, that makes them special to me. And seeing them every day and building a bond, or even at the high school. You see these kids day after day, they begin to be like your own kids," said Gann.
And since she's first started working at this desk in 1993, Sgt. Gann has help shape countless lives through her dedication to children.
The sergeant said some of the kids at the high school started out with her in the summer camp when they were young.
And she said she feels privileged to have spent so much time forming life long bonds with the students.
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