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Suzanne Cooper takes PR slot at LCSO

By Kay S. Pedrotti As the community relations director for the Lamar County sheriff’s office, Suzanne Cooper says she has one top goal ‘“ ‘Helping the community.’ The law enforcement veteran emphasizes the main part of her job description calls for her services in helping schools, churches and individuals stay safe and understand the importance of law enforcement. She came to the LCSO this year from a post as probation officer in Hogansville but has served on the staff of two previous Lamar sheriffs. Cooper’s background includes 13 years in the medical field in radiology and as a medical assistant. She says she became ‘intrigued with law enforcement’ as a result of being married to Maj. Craig Cooper, who has been with the Barnesville police department for 25 years. Once she passed Police Officer Standards and Training requirements, she worked with the Spalding County sheriff’s department for 10 years, in detention and court services and in the criminal investigation division. ’Sheriff (Brad) White asked me to become the community relations director because he saw a need for more cooperation between the sheriff’s office and the citizens, schools, businesses and churches in Lamar County,’ Cooper said. ‘One of the projects we’ll start in the elementary school at the beginning of the 2013-14 year is called CHAMPS. It’s very similar to the drug awareness program DARE but also goes into other topics like bullying, internet and social networking safety and ATV and boat safety.’ The sheriff’s office has two drop boxes for unused prescription drugs and there is one at the Barnesville PD, she added. The boxes have yielded ’41 and a half pounds of drugs so far,’ everything from people cleaning out medicine cabinets, disposing of drugs after someone dies and other leftover drugs, she said. The drugs, mostly pills but some liquids, are disposed of at a biohazard facility through the company used to supply prescriptions if needed for the jail. Another special program planned is a citizens’ police academy designed to offer residents a look inside the roles of law enforcement and information on how to keep themselves and their neighborhoods safe and help reduce crime. ’I just want everybody to know I’m available to help,’ said Cooper. ‘I can be reached at the sheriff’s department, 770-358-5159 extension 269. I’ll be glad to help anyone or any organization find resources or answers such as helping school children or seniors learn safety measures. This is a job I love and I want to stay here a long time.’

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