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OTC law enforcement academy given full certification

    Ogeechee Technical College’s new law enforcement academy was recognized by the  Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST), which gave the academy  full POST certification.
    The OTC new law enforcement academy is one of six now located on the campuses of six Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) colleges.
    Academy classes will begin in January at Ogeechee Tech as well as at Augusta Tech, Coosa Valley Tech, DeKalb Tech, Savannah Tech and South Georgia Tech.
    According to information provided by Barry Turner, public relations director for OTC, the Basic Law Enforcement Academies (BLEA) project is a collaboration between the TCSG, POST and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC).
    “It allows new law enforcement officers to receive their basic training at a state technical college and obtain college credit at the same time,” he said.
    The program also has the endorsement of the state Board of Public Safety, which has been working to craft a long-range solution to the need for more space for training of the state’s law enforcement officers, he said.
    Ogeechee Tech president Dawn Carte expressed excitement about the new program.
    “Full POST certification is important to our academy because it means those seeking law enforcement training locally through Ogeechee Tech have the assurance that every state standard and requirement has been met by our college,”  she said.  “In especially critical economic times, our local governments can look forward to having their officers trained close to home which should help them save on expenses, while offering a more convenient option for the students.”
     Students attending BLEA classes will receive a technical certificate of credit (TCC) after completion of the program.  With the TCC 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,” said TCSG Commissioner Ron Jackson. “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.”
     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, Turner said.  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, he said.
    Ogeechee Tech’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy is located at the College’s Workforce Development Center on U.S. 301 in Claxton.
    The emergency vehicle operators portion of the training will be held at OTC’s driving range in Hagan.
     “We expect the availability of this law enforcement training to be a great benefit not only to our three-county service delivery area (Bulloch, Evans, and Screven Counties) but to quite a few neighboring counties as well,” Cartee said. “This certification is the culmination of quite a bit of work that has been done not only by those who are employed at Ogeechee Tech, but also by local legislators, Public Safety Board members, and law enforcement administrators .  We would not have this Academy without the joint effort of many people.”
      Local law enforcement leaders, including Statesboro Police Chief Stan York, Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson and Georgia State Patrol Sgt. First-Class C. Lamb were not available for comment Friday regarding the program.
   

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