AMERICUS, GA (WALB) - Two Peach County Sheriff's Office deputies killed in November are leaving a lasting imprint on future South Georgia law enforcement officers.
It's in the form of a scholarship endowed by a man who has a passion to serve the Law Enforcement Academy at South Georgia Technical College.
Peach County Sheriff's Deputy Daryl Smallwood and Sergeant Patrick Sondron had ties to the community served by SGTC.
"To lose anybody is tough, but it really is a lot harder when you have a personal connection to them," said Vanessa Wall, Dean of Academic Affairs at SGTC.
Deputy Smallwood previously served at the Crisp County Sheriff's Office, while Sgt. Sondron taught at the SGTC Law Enforcement Academy.
"They were very special to us," Wall said.
Lou Crouch, a man from Byron, decided to endow a scholarship in memory of the two men who were shot and killed while responding to a call in November.
"The scholarships make it possible for these cadets to be able to earn their diplomas and certificates they're working toward," said SGTC President Dr. John Watford.
From now on, one law enforcement cadet will receive the scholarship at each graduation in May and December.
For the cadets, this means an opportunity to enter the force and work in memory of not only Deputy Smallwood and Sgt. Sondron, but all the other officers killed in the line of duty including Officers Jody Smith and Nick Smarr killed in Americus in December.
"We talk about them all the time in the academy, and the difference that they made," said Wall. "They know who these people are and what it means."
Wall said she hopes Sgt. Sondron and Deputy Smallwood's families will attend the academy's graduation in May to help award the first scholarship in their honor.