The Georgia Northwestern Technical College Law Enforcement Academy will hold its second graduation at 1 p.m. Thursday at the school's Gordon County Campus in the Raymond F. King Auditorium.
Last year GNTC unveiled the Basic Law Enforcement program under the Public Service Technology umbrella, which also includes the school’s criminal justice program.
In June the program’s first group of graduates received certification, and 98 percent of them went on to jobs in local law enforcement. Two graduates from the program, Joshua Justice and Antonio Cedano, are now officers with the Calhoun Police Department.
“They were two well-rounded basic officers when they got here,” said Calhoun Police Chief Garry Moss. “We are very pleased with them and they are going to be good officers.”
“The program is successful because of the combination of training and academics,” said Tom Bojo, Dean of Public Service Technology for GNTC. “The program is appealing to recruiters because we are turning out guys who are prepared and ready to hit the road.”
The 20-week Basic Law Enforcement program is competitive, with only 15 applicants accepted each semester. Once students are admitted they must maintain passing scores in classes such as criminal and constitutional law classes, defensive tactics and criminal investigations.
Tomorrow a new class of potential officers will graduate from the program and Bojo says the students are ready for jobs.
“We are graduating students who are ready to be badge carrying, patrol car driving, gun carrying officers,” Bojo said.
The students also graduate with 408 Peace Officer Standards and Training hours, along with 59 college credits.
“They are getting an excellent educational value and training that creates a better recruit,” Bojo said.
When students graduate from the Basic Law Enforcement program, or any other GNTC program, Bojo points out, they are immediately ready to enter the workforce.
“They are certified and ready,” Bojo said.
An additional honorary ceremony will be held at Floyd Medical Center at 7 a.m. Recruit Phillip Zane’s mother, Meri Beth Zane, was badly injured in an accident recently and the honorary ceremony is being held so she can see her son graduate.