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PBAGA Scholarship Recipient Kaytlynn DeWinter


By Katharine Jefcoats


Her high school teachers describe Kaytlynn DeWinter as a “strong leader,” “brilliant,” “dependable” and a “hard worker.”  But to Peachtree City police Officer Robert DeWinter, she’s his pride and joy. “Nothing has made me prouder, including anything I’ve ever done in law enforcement, than watching her grow and push herself to accomplish her goals in life,” he said.


Kaytlynn began her college career at University of West Georgia in Carrollton through the dual enrollment program at East Coweta High School in Sharpsburg. By the time of graduation, she’d worked her way through her freshman year. She is one of about two dozen offspring of law enforcement officers, who are also members of SSPBA, to win a PBF scholarship in 2023.


Kaytlynn DeWinter receives a check from West Chapter (PBAGA) President Shanon Zeisloft.  Also, pictured is Kaytlynn’s dad Robert, and West Georgia Chapter board members Freeman Johnson and Alicia Hoover.


Kaytlynn said she learned perseverance from her father, who started his work career at Publix in 1995. “Throughout my childhood, my dad was always the best role model,” she said. “He showed me how to get myself up after failing. I watched him go after his goal of becoming a police officer. He wanted to save and protect others, which I admired greatly.”


Officer DeWinter worked at Publix for 16 years. “I started a career at Publix Supermarkets in 1995 and when the job was no longer fulfilling, I decided to leave the company in 2011 to pursue my dream of being in law enforcement,” he said. “I always admired and looked up to police officers and to be honest, just thought it was cool to drive a police car and wear a badge.”


Officer DeWinter’s training got off to a rocky start and he had to give it another try, his daughter remembered, but he did not give up. His determined nature set a lifelong example for Kaytlynn. “With his second attempt, he pushed himself further and accomplished what he worked for,” she said. “Since then, he has been consistently passionate in his work. This is something I admire about police officers: they never give up.


Kaytlynn, in the fun version of her cap and gown.


“Officers keep our communities together and I am proud that my dad has a part in that,” continued Kaytlynn. “Ever since I was a little girl, I have kept my dad’s spirit, passion and determination with me.” Officer DeWinter started in law enforcement in June 2012 in Forest Park, a busy city in Clayton County. Forest Park is home to The State Farmers Market and a close neighbor to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He started with the Forest Park Police Department on the patrol division and was promoted to sergeant in April 2017. DeWinter was promoted to lieutenant in March 2022.


However, he decided to make a change and left the department in March 2023. DeWinter is employed by the Peachtree City Police Department, serving as a patrol officer. He has been involved in patrol, special operations and CID, as commander. DeWinter described his daughter as quiet and shy but that school activities helped bring out her personality and creative abilities.


“She has had many positive influences in her life, mostly some amazing teachers, that have pushed her to be more than she ever thought she could be,” he said. “She was the lead in her fifth-grade play. In middle school, she discovered music and band. In high school, Kaytlynn joined the marching band and fell in love.”


Kaytlynn held the role of drum major for her high school band and now participates in marching band at the University of West Georgia.


Kaytlynn explains, “This scholarship has helped me tremendously in my educational pursuits. It takes financial stress off of my table to allow me to concentrate on my studies. I am very thankful for the PBAGA Scholarship.”

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