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Police graduates receive badges, applause, advice

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It's a small piece of metal, barely big enough to fill the palm of your hand.

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Jeffrey Taylor winces as fiancée Tamela Carter pins a badge to his uniform. He was one of the 17 cadets who graduated Friday.  Corey Perrine/Staff
Corey Perrine/Staff
Jeffrey Taylor winces as fiancée Tamela Carter pins a badge to his uniform. He was one of the 17 cadets who graduated Friday.

But to 17 cadets Friday, the shiny badge represented 11 weeks of hard work and a future filled with adventure and danger.

"Safeguard the public interest and remember that perception is everything," Maj. Richard Dixon told Class No. 195 of the Regional Police Academy.

It's that type of advice that the cadets have been soaking up for the past two months as they learned the basics of law enforcement.

For five days a week, eight hours a day, the class has been slogging through textbooks of Georgia law, grappling with other cadets and firing weapons.

Each cadet had a special reason for enrolling in the academy.

Jeffrey Brown, 25, is continuing the public service tradition started by his father, Lt. Neal Brown, almost 40 years ago. Neal Brown is a longtime firefighter and the arson investigator for the Richmond County Fire Department. He also went through the academy to be a sworn officer.

"They don't give away anything over there," Brown said. "You have to earn it."

Friday's reception at Enterprise Mill was the official ceremony for the cadets to receive their badges.

More than half were already wearing the uniform of the Hephzibah Police Department or Richmond County marshal or sheriff's offices. Those waiting for employment wore crisp, white dress shirts and black slacks.

Each cadet went up in alphabetical order to have the badge pinned onto his blouse by his father, wife, daughter or fiancée. He wrapped an arm around the shoulder of his loved one for a photo, then received a firm handshake and hearty slap on the back from the academy staff. No one returned to his seat without a big grin on his face.

Some received extra awards for outstanding service.

Todd Lamb picked up a commendation for the top academics. He earned the nickname "Lambulance" during basic training. It's partly because of his EMT background and partly because of a training exercise at which he yelled "police" with every step. The good-natured ribbing is part of the camaraderie forged through the 11 weeks of tough training.

For Jeffrey Taylor, 25, the police academy is an extension of his service in the U.S. Army as a military police officer. There were similarities to the Army's basic training, he said, but there was a stronger focus on academics at the academy.

His fiancée, Tamela Carter, is nervous about the new venture in their lives, but she understands Taylor wouldn't be content with a desk job.

"I'm happy for him," she said.

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curly123053
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curly123053 03/27/10 - 08:10 am
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Good luck to each one of

Good luck to each one of them. I pray they all have good fulfilling careers in law enforcement.

JohnQPublic
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JohnQPublic 03/27/10 - 08:17 am
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Where did this take place?

Where did this take place? Where is the "regional police academy"?

devgru1
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devgru1 03/27/10 - 08:42 am
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The training complex is off

The training complex is off Highway 1 in Richmond County.

bclicious
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bclicious 03/27/10 - 02:07 pm
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Ok, here are your options for

Ok, here are your options for becoming a police officer.

#1 - You can attend a 12 week state run law enforcement course at one of the 6-8 state run law enforcement academies. Such as Augusta's East Georgia Regional Academy in Blythe, GA off Hwy 1 by the Richmond county landfill.

#2 - You attend the Augusta Technical College's 17 week privately run law enforcement course in which you receive additional training and college credit.

Either one will set you back around $3,000.00, but there are ways around the tuition cost, such as scholarships or by getting a law enforcement agency to pay for it.

Another thing to mention is that you don't have to already be employed by a law enforcement agency to attend either one of these courses, but it does help absorb the cost if you want to become a police officer.

In closing, for all you losers in Georgia who claim that Georgia police officers are stupid, and not trained, in your face. You people wouldn't last 5 minutes in the academy.

Humbly,

Bobby

AutumnLeaves
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AutumnLeaves 03/27/10 - 02:27 pm
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humbly, Bobby? LOL. But

humbly, Bobby? LOL. But anyway, thanks for the info and congratulations to the new officers.

Just Another Day
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Just Another Day 03/29/10 - 10:04 am
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These young men and women has

These young men and women has chosen a though vocation due to the fact that around this area, the pay is miserable. Long hours with little or no thanks from an ungrateful public who think they are above the law.
Then again, young men and women dont choose this proffersion for the money. It's for the self-gratification. Helping people that deserve it.

grinder48
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grinder48 03/30/10 - 04:26 pm
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JohnQPublic is right. This
Unpublished

JohnQPublic is right. This is a very poorly written article. Thanks bclicious for providing those details ... but they should have been in the article. Wonder where AC is getting these writers ... or does it say something sad about our educational system?

Indigo
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Indigo 03/31/10 - 11:46 am
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I wouldnt say an 11 week

I wouldnt say an 11 week course is exactly training. I mean, what profession with this kind of liability has such a short training schedule?

cojak
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cojak 03/31/10 - 02:50 pm
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Indigo, you train for the

Indigo, you train for the rest of your life and you have to start somewhere sometime. The training is intense and the Army had me ready for war in 16 weeks back in the day.

cojak
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cojak 03/31/10 - 02:51 pm
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Indigo, you train for the

Indigo, you train for the rest of your life and you have to start somewhere sometime. The training is intense and the Army had me ready for war in 16 weeks back in the day.

rhoneycutt
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rhoneycutt 04/01/10 - 10:09 pm
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After the completion of this

After the completion of this course, each new officer will ride with a field training officer that will show them how things really work in the street. It's not like they just give them a gun, a badge, and a car, and say "Go get um!". This is more like the first step in their training.

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