HCSO launches in-house mentoring program

In an ongoing effort to offer multi-level support to public safety employees, the Hall County
Sheriff’s Office (HCSO) has created Overwatch, a mentorship program pairing new HCSO
employees with senior officers.

“The Hall County Sheriff’s Office Overwatch mentorship program is a collaborative process
where the mentee develops a relationship with a senior officer who they can lean on for
support and knowledge,” said Sheriff Gerald Couch. “Most people understand how stressful
a law enforcement career is; our goal is to provide not only the physical equipment for our
team members to do their jobs, but also personal support for our men and women.”

Basically, a new hire is assigned a mentor who will help the new employee navigate the
start of a law enforcement career. All mentors work for the sheriff’s office, and all have
completed an agency training program. Overwatch offers some of the same tools offered
by the Georgia Resiliency Program, a statewide initiative for public safety wellness, but it
enables HCSO to offer stronger support on a daily basis.

Development of the Overwatch program has been underway for the past year. To date,
Overwatch has trained 30 mentors, and many already have been paired with mentees.
“We believe the senior officer – or mentor – will also benefit from the program, gaining new
perspectives from our most recently-hired employees and also developing leadership
skills,” said Sheriff Couch.

The Overwatch program is designed to “promote healthy employee development,
ultimately boosting recruitment and retention at HCSO, which not only benefits the agency,
but also provides more well-rounded officers serving the Hall County community,” according to a HCSO news release.