by India Westbrook

Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager, who is serving his sixth term as sheriff and is chairman of the P.O.S.T. Council, paid a visit to University of West Georgia Newnan to talk to criminology students about his career in law enforcement and provide a real-world insight on ethics.

Coweta County Sheriff Mike Yeager“Ethics is not just a huge part in law enforcement, it’s about life,” Yeager said.

He explained that a lot has changed in the way law enforcement operates, including implementing training to reinforce the importance of high ethical behavior. He also spoke on equal opportunity in the work place and how many jobs are available for women in law enforcement.

“When I first started in this field, the only thing women were be able to do is sit behind the desk and answer the phones at the station,” Yeager recalled. “Now, there are so many jobs in law enforcement that are opening up for women, such as deputies, detention officers and bomb technicians. It’s incredible.”

During his visit, Yeager talked about how he started his occupation in Newnan and shared some of his experiences from his 37 years in law enforcement. For example, he spoke on how he had traveled overseas to study terrorism to prepare for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and worked on a 12-year homicide case in Coweta County.

“Former State of Georgia Lieutenant Governor Mark Taylor introduced legislation to perform DNA swabbing on individuals going into the prison system in 2002,”  Yeager said. “That helped my department solve a homicide case in Coweta County that happened in 1990.”

Yeager also explained how technology has played a large role in the advancement of law enforcement, but he encouraged criminology students not to allow technology to do all of the work for them.

“Technology is great, but nothing beats good shoe-leather investigating,” Yeager said.

He challenged students to get out and do traditional investigating, which he believes is an important part to this profession.

Yeager ended his visit by encouraging students who are seeking high positions in the law enforcement field to finish college. He said that doing so will benefit students in their future careers and help them stand out among other applicants applying for the same jobs.

“Stay in school,” Yeager advised. “Get that degree. Don’t stop.”

Posted on October 17, 2016