Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk and Eddie Upshaw recognized at Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis luncheon
On May 1, 2019, Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk and Walker County citizen Eddie Upshaw were presented with the Fort Oglethorpe Kiwanis Club’s Distinguished Service Award.
Sisk, who grew up in Catoosa County, began his public service career thirty years ago with the Post Volunteer Fire Department. He became an EMT and worked for a local ambulance service as well. Following that, in 1989, he joined the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office as a Detention Officer on the night shift, while working as an EMT during the day.
Staying busy and working hard, Sisk focused on Law Enforcement and worked up the ladder of the Sheriff’s Office. He was elected as Catoosa County Sheriff in 2012 when Phil Summers retired.
Since becoming Sheriff, he had focused on rehabilitation while being aggressive with crime prevention. Not only did he partner with Georgia Northwestern to start the first ever GED program in the jail, but he also brought in other organizations such as Narcotics Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous, the Transformation Project, and Project Change.
“Teachers have to go to school for four years. In that four years, there is not one class on school safety.” said Superintendent Denia Reese. “There are no classes on threat assessments, no classes on active shooter drills. The safety of 11,000 children is a heavy burden to carry, but I can carry it and sleep at night, because Gary Sisk is my partner in making sure schools are safe in Catoosa County.”
Sisk also is active with the North GA YMCA, Blood Assurance, Court Appointed Special Advocates, Catoosa Schools Partnership 2000, Adult Literacy, Emergency Planning, Family Collaborative, and many more community boards and organizations.
“When I found out about this award,” said Sisk, “I had to ask ‘Why me? I’m just living. I’m just doing what I think I’m supposed to be doing.’ We all are. We hope its right every day.”
Also receiving this award, was Eddie Upshaw of Walker County. Upshaw is member at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, and serves as a Trustee. He is a member of the Chickamauga Lion’s Club, serving as zone chairman and president ten times. He is a founding member of Habitat for Humanity, North GA YMCA, Family Crisis Center, and The Cottage. He also has a passion for community health, serving as a volunteer for the GA Public Health Association, Lookout Mountain Community Services, and Walker County Chamber of Commerce. Eddie has been recognized also as Walker County Citizen of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, and Chickamauga Lions Club Member of the Year.
“I still don’t completely understand why I was chosen,” Upshaw said lightheartedly, “I just want to thank everybody. I love Walker and Catoosa Counties very much.”