SYLVA – Back when George Moses first became Macon County’s Sheriff in the 1970s, the entire department consisted of two full-time deputies and one part-timer.
That small crew also covered the jail, which included just six cells and was located at the courthouse at the time.
Even then, Sheriff Moses recognized the need to have high-quality law enforcement training nearby.
“We had to go to Gaston County, as I recall,” he said recently. “There wasn’t much training in those days.”
Now that the Macon County Sheriff’s Office includes a roster of 59 sworn full-time deputies, the former sheriff – along with Margaret, his wife of more than 70 years – have endowed a scholarship to make it easier for future generations to enter the field through Southwestern Community College’s Basic Law Enforcement Training program.
“It’s important to have good, quality training,” said George Moses, who served two terms as sheriff (1970-74 and 1982-86). “That’s why we’re doing this. We just want to see good law enforcement.”
The former sheriff and Mrs. Moses formally signed off on the fund that has since been named the “The George Moses Family Endowed Scholarship” earlier this fall at the law offices of Collins and Collins, PA.
One factor in the Moses’ decision to support Southwestern’s program is his longtime friendship with Curtis Dowdle, who oversees SCC’s Public Safety Training.
A lifelong Franklin resident, Dowdle got his start in law enforcement when Moses was sheriff.
“He was always like a dad to us,” Dowdle recalled. “He’d bring us in if we did something wrong and explain to us how he wanted us to police. I always drive cautiously, and I always wave at people because he had always taught me to communicate with the public and acknowledge people when we were in that patrol car. He also taught me to be fair, and to have empathy. Those were some of the lifelong lessons that I’ve carried with me.”
The scholarship will be awarded annually to a deserving recruit at SCC starting in the spring of 2024.
“Sheriff Moses was my mentor and my friend, and I’ve always looked up to him,” Dowdle said. “I can’t think of a more fitting legacy for him than knowing future generations of law enforcement officers will be able to enter the field because of the generous gift that he and Mrs. Moses are providing. At Southwestern, we take very seriously the responsibility of training the men and women who keep us all safe. Having Sheriff Moses’ name associated with the program sets an even higher standard for us to strive for going forward.”
For more information about the Margaret and Sheriff George Moses Family Endowed Scholarship at SCC, and to learn more about other ways to support students at Southwestern, contact Brett Woods – Director of the SCC Foundation – at 828.339.4241 or b_woods@SouthwesternCC.edu.