Covington -- Recruits who earned certificates from DeKalb Technical College's Law Enforcement Academy were honored at a graduation ceremony to recognize their achievement on Thursday at the Conference Center of DeKalb Technical College's Newton Center.
Ken Vance, Executive Director of the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training (P.O.S.T) Council, delivered the keynote address.
"We are very proud of the graduating class," said Beverly Thomas, Law Enforcement Academy Director. "We are excited about our graduates who are going out to serve where we live and work. Thanks to the quality of our faculty and staff, they will be well equipped to have great careers and make our communities a safer place."
During the intense training and educational program, the 24 graduating recruits were also actively involved in community-based initiatives to make a positive difference in the lives of others. They participated in the Exploring is Learning for Life's career education program by sponsoring an Explorer from the Conyers Police Department to go to the Explorer Academy in Michigan.
Additionally, the Law Enforcement Academy recruits participated in the Newton County Relay for Life event sponsored by the American Cancer Society and as a team they raised the most money online for the event.
"Our graduates are prepared to make a difference, to stay safe and protect their community," said Lt. Harry McCann, Jr., Academy Instructor. "This makes them a valuable asset to their employers. I'm proud to see them start what I know will be an exciting, challenging, and promising career."
At the beginning of the program, only half of the class of the Law Enforcement Academy were employed, but upon graduation, the majority of the graduating recruits are gainfully employed.
The Law Enforcement Academy is a full-time, 17 week, paramilitary structured program designed to increase the training, knowledge and understanding of the complex issues regarding law enforcement today.
Recruits completing this program will gain, in addition to their P.O.S.T Basic Law Enforcement certification, 59 college credits towards an associate's degree in criminal justice. The Law Enforcement Academy is one of the State's first P.O.S.T certified Basic Mandate programs on a college campus with college credit.
DeKalb Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. Established in 1961, DeKalb Technical College currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and Technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations.
For more information, visit www.dekalbtech.edu.