Education: New Floyd Police video answers ‘When do you stop for a school bus?’. French police officers visit GNTC Law Enforcement Academy.

Education: New Floyd Police video answers ‘When do you stop for a school bus?’. French police officers visit GNTC Law Enforcement Academy.

With school starting next week for several school systems around Northwest Georgia, the Floyd County Police Department has produced a video about key safety concerns and steps when it comes to students and their buses.

Please see the video above which helps answer this question:

 “When do I stop for a bus?” — ‘We hope this video answers your questions and provides a tutorial on when it’s OK to pass to a bus.’


Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger, left, displays some of the gun safety procedures his students learn during his program. From left are, Pledger, French Police Officer Lydie Stempfle, French Police Officer Alain Stempfle, and GNTC’s Fabrice Sainton.


Alain and Lydie Stempfle came from France to the states to visit life-long friend, Fabrice Sainton. A staffer at Georgia Northwestern Technical College, Sainton works closely with the college’s security and Law Enforcement Academy. But more than 30 years ago, he was a young man entering the police academy for the Police Nationale (National Police) in France with his friend, Alain.

Earlier this month, Alain, his wife, Lydie, and Fabrice got to visit with GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger at the Gordon County Firing Range in Calhoun. Right away, there was a noticeable difference that caught the eyes of the visiting officers.

“There’s just a big difference in the equipment available to a police officer here,” said Alain. “The equipment officers have at their disposal is more intense. Rifles, heavy duty equipment, very high-powered patrol cars are all prevalent here. Officers aren’t so heavily equipped in France. And, the cars are definitely smaller.”

During the tour, Alain would get to sit behind the wheel of a Dodge Charger Calhoun Police Department Cruiser. The standard police version of the Charger comes complete with a 370-horsepower engine. The standard patrol vehicle for the Police Nationale in Vannes, France is a Peugeot 307. The much smaller patrol vehicle has 110 horsepower when it comes off of the Peugeot assembly line in Sochaux, France.

Lydie, a 24-year veteran, and her husband, Alain, a 31-year veteran of the Police Nationale (National Police) assigned to the city of Vannes, France police force, both got to feel some of the training experience future law enforcement officers encounter at Georgia Northwestern. Both husband and wife hold the ranks of Brigadier (Sergeant) within the force. However, Mrs. Stempfle will soon become a Supervisor (Chief). “She is the chief whether we are at work or home,” quickly answered Mr. Stempfle with a smile.

In the couple’s combined 55 years of police force experience, only the husband has ever used his service weapon in the line of duty. “During a traffic stop, the motorist fired his weapon at my patrol,” said Alain. “It was the only time I ever fired my weapon on the job.”  

When it comes to being on patrol, Pledger says he teaches his students that you need to learn how to properly control a situation. “We are teaching students when it is necessary, and when it is not necessary, to take any action,” said Pledger. “Knowing when to use force, and recognizing the amount of force necessary, is a huge part of doing the job well.”

Georgia Northwestern Technical College offers the Law Enforcement Academy program every semester on the Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. To learn more about the program, you can call 866-983-4682. For information online, visit the college at, as well as on GNTC’s Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.

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