BEDFORD Co., Va. (WDBJ7) -- The Bedford County Sheriff's Office kicked off a new initiative on Tuesday.
It's the Growth Through Opportunity (GTO) program.
The inaugural class has three cadets.
The program helps teach and train people with disabilities for future employment.
Leaders say it's important to give everyone an opportunity to be in the workforce. "The other reason is because of the safety factor. Individuals with disabilities, we know have a higher incidents of victimization. They get to know who their community resources are. They get to become familiar with the uniforms and they get to create that relationship with the first responders," explained Didi Zaryczny, the program's training coordinator.
GTO is a collaborative effort between all public safety organizations in the county.
Capt. Mike Miller brought the program in after seeing its success in other communities.