Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Law Enforcement Academy held its 10th commencement ceremony Friday, April 27 at the college's Covington campus. Five recruits have completed the 17 week law officer training academy. While the class size was low, the caliber of students was high. "This is the smallest graduating class we've had since we began operating. It presented some challenges from an instruction standpoint, however, I believe these students benefited greatly from the small class size. I feel confident they learned the knowledge and skills needed to move forward and do a good job for the community that they elect to serve," says Major Harry McCann, Director of Georgia Piedmont Technical College's Law Enforcement Academy.
The graduates are: Matthew Bullock of Tucker; Paul Campbell of Covington; Joseph Harding of Conyers; Quatasia Marigny of Union City and Sara Miller of Marietta. Bullock received the highest grade point average in the class which qualified him for the academic award. Harding was the best marksman in the group. He was given the top gun award. All of the students in this graduating class are pre-service, meaning they have not secured employment now that they are qualified to serve as law enforcement officers within the State of Georgia. Nearly all of them are in talks with agencies ranging from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to regional police and sheriff departments. The commencement speaker was Chief Mike Blouin, GPTC's police chief. In his message he recounted how being a crime victim years ago changed the way he did his job. "I then understood empathy and treated victims differently," said Blouin. He goes on to wish them well in a rewarding career. "You are starting a professional career that few others have the chance or the ability to take. My hope for you is that 30 years from now, you will have as much pride, satisfaction and fulfillment in your lives as I have had in mine."
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.