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DeKalb College law academy gets certified by POST

CONYERS - Graduates from the Law Enforcement Academy at DeKalb Technical College are now eligible for POST certification.

The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) voted unanimously Dec. 10 to give full POST certification to the new law enforcement academies located on the campuses of six Technical College System of Georgia colleges, including DeKalb Technical College, Augusta Tech, Coosa Valley Tech, Ogeechee Tech, Savannah Tech and South Georgia Tech.

"The POST Council is the regulatory agency for training and certifying of Georgia police officers," said Ryan Powell, director of operations for the Georgia POST Council. "We set minimum standards for training and certify those schools that are authorized to give that training."

Powell said POST and the TCSG began the pilot program about two years ago

The Basic Law Enforcement Academies project is collaboration between the TCSG, POST and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. It allows new law enforcement officers to receive their basic training at a state technical college and obtain college credit at the same time.

Students attending BLEA classes will receive a technical certificate of credit after completion of the program. With the certificate in hand, the new law enforcement officers can choose to continue their education toward a degree in criminal justice.

"This is an outstanding collaboration between our technical colleges and the agencies that oversee Georgia's public safety training programs," TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson said in a press release. "These academies will open the door for every trainee to utilize their basic training as part of a seamless education process toward a two-year degree in criminal justice."

Powell said the 10 police academies around the state are used predominantly to train those have been hired with law enforcement agency. The primary function for the technical schools is those students who have not been hired by an agency but are considering a career in law enforcement.

As students enrolled in college credit courses, most trainees will be eligible to receive Georgia HOPE grants and federal Pell grants that will offset the cost of their technical college education.

The academy's admission standards require all students to undergo a thorough background check and adhere to all rules as set forth by the state POST Council. Students will also have to meet minimum scores in English, reading and math.

The program will take between 16 and 20 weeks to complete.

The DeKalb Tech Law Enforcement Academy, located at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway in Covington, will begin Jan. 5.

Aimee Jones can be reached at aimee.jones@rockdalecitizen.com.