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  • A Day in the Life of a Rural Sheriff

    Nick Giles is the sheriff of Taylor County, a rural county slightly southwest of Macon. Away from the big city the picture of law enforcement looks a lot different. Giles explains procedures, challenges, and the benefits of keeping order in a small county.

    Support Materials

    Discuss

    1. Explain the role of the police in society.

    2. Compare and contrast rural and urban police officers.

    3. Sheriff Giles, though easy going in some aspects, becomes very upset when he encounters child neglect. If you were a police officer, would there be any crimes for which you would have no tolerance? Explain. 

    Expansion

    1. Invite a local (city or county) law enforcement officer to talk to the class about how they handle the problems in your local area. If available, ask the school policeman to come talk to the class about problems encountered in their school or in other schools across the school system. Ask him to tell about how these problems are handled and what can happen to the student in each case.

    2. Write a paragraph describing why Sheriff Giles’ methods for keeping law and order in Taylor County work. What character traits does Sheriff Giles exhibit as he goes about his duties?

    Vocabulary

    sheriff: an elected official who is in charge of enforcing the law in a county or town of the U.S.
    neglect: to fail to take care of or to give attention to (someone or something)
    deputy: a person whose immediate superior is a senior figure within an organization and who is empowered to act as a substitute for this superior
    garnish: seize (money, especially part of a person's salary) to settle a debt or claim

    For Teachers

    Discussion Guide

    1. Explain the role of the police in society. 
    Police officers enforce government laws, maintain peace and serve to protect members of its community. 

    2. Compare and contrast rural and urban police officers. 
    All police officers serve to protect their communities. While the volume of crimes may differ, they both encounter similar types of crimes, including burglary, rape and murder. Urban police officers face a higher number of crimes on a daily basis. Because of their busy schedules, they might not spend time to talk things through or give someone a break. Rural police officers, on the other hand, tend to focus on building relationships with members of a community. They spend time getting to know people and use those relationships to help them settle disputes. 

    3. Sheriff Giles, though easy going in some aspects, becomes very upset when he encounters child neglect. If you were a police officer, would there be any crimes for which you would have no tolerance? Explain. 
    Student answers will vary. 

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