Sheriff Jim Hammond and Dr. Charles Petitt, president of Piedmont International University, on Friday met to commemorate the formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The announcement took place in the Sheriff’s Conference Room.
This is the new collaboration between the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Piedmont International University which will enable HCSO employees to pursue higher education and strengthen their law enforcement skills.
HCSO employees will be given 1-year of academic credit into PIU’s undergraduate degrees, including criminal justice and business administration. Employees who have already earned previous undergraduate degrees will receive credit into PIU’s master’s degrees; MBA and MA Leadership. In addition to receiving academic credit for prior professional experience and certifications, HCSO employees will also receive scholarships from PIU. Piedmont’s BA in Criminal Justice is noteworthy for its state-of-the-art curriculum designed to emphasize on experimental learning and professional skills, said officials.
“This new opportunity will allow HCSO employees to further their education from a nationally renowned university and enhance their knowledge and their capabilities,” said Sheriff Jim Hammond. “It is a collaborative partnership that will allow our people to have greater access to higher education which will in return benefit them greatly in their career at the HCSO and their personal lives."
Piedmont University’s Vice Chancellor Sandeep Gopalan said, "This collaboration will provide a direct community benefit. It has the potential to minimize litigation expenses and settlements for civil rights violations and unlawful deaths, bring 21st century digital skills to the community, and build trust. It enhances promotion opportunities for officers and improves their capabilities and confidence. Sheriff Hammond deserves credit for showing leadership that should be emulated nationwide by other sheriffs.”