Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s (GPTC) Law Enforcement Academy was recognized recently for becoming the first training academy in Georgia to achieve accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA).
CALEA is responsible for accrediting numerous law enforcement agencies, public safety communications agencies, law enforcement training academies and campus security agencies throughout the nation and abroad.
GPTC President Jabari Simama welcomed law enforcement, community, state and local leaders on the college’s Newton campus on Aug. 19 toacknowledge the college’s achievement. In his remarks, Simama said that the officers who graduate from Georgia Piedmont’s Law Enforcement Academy are not only technically skilled but also culturally sensitive.
“All of our law enforcement graduates are familiar with strategies for community policing,” said Simama.
Simama read a letter from Gov. Nathan Deal, who praised the academy for being the first agency of its kind in Georgia to receive CALEA accreditation.
District 43 State Sen. Ronald B. Ramsey, Sr., District 43 congratulated the academy for attaining national accreditation, referring to CALEA as “the gold standard in public safety accreditation.”
Mitch Jones, director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Council spoke after the senator, saying that attaining accreditation is much like passing a final, comprehensive exam in school.
“Achieving accreditation is proof you’ve done everything right, but then you also have to maintain it. I’m particularly proud that Georgia Piedmont’s Law Enforcement Academy achieved CALEA accreditation because it means the students here are participating in the best possible learning environment,” Jones said.
The academy’s director, Major Harry C. McCann, Jr., said the formation of the academy was a joint effort between the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) Council.
“This academy was basically built from scratch, with the planning stages occurring throughout 2008 so the academy could open in January of 2009,” McCann said.
Eric Dorsey, a current student at GPTC’s law enforcement academy, said the program is great.
“I can’t put into words how great this program is. The instructors here have provided me with more knowledge and training than I could have ever dreamed of,” Dorsey said.
CALEA voted unanimously to award accreditation status to GPTC after assessors determined that the college had met all 159 required standards.
GPTC’s 17-week Law Enforcement Academy program consists of 700 basic mandate hours; 40 P.O.S.T. advanced hours; and 42 college credit hours (60 college credit hours are required to earn an Associate’s degree). It is taught using a para-military style structure and is an intensive physical training program.
For more information about Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Law Enforcement Academy, please visit www.gptc.edu <http://www.gptc.edu> or call Major McCann at 404-297-9522, ext. 5031.