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Richmond, Columbia county sheriff's offices to hold police training

Blythe facility held last class this week

Thursday, March 22, 2012 11:07 PM
Last updated Friday, March 23, 2012 11:01 AM
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About a year ago, area sheriffs were concerned a local police training center would close. But now, the sheriffs have worked out a compromise plan.

“This is a win-win for us,” Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said.

Last February, the Georgia Public Safety Training Center announced that budgetary issues would close the basic mandate training center off Deans Bridge Road in Blythe on June 30. That would have forced area agencies to pay transportation and meal costs for officers to go to training facilities in middle and north Georgia.

Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle  and Strength went to Atlanta and convinced lawmakers to put the money back in the budget until the end of the fiscal year.

“In the process of doing that, it gave everyone time to work out the details, which brings us to where are we now,” said Richard Dixon, the manager of the Blythe training center, which held its final class this week.

From this point on, the Richmond and Columbia county sheriff’s offices will alternate hosting the course at their own training facilities. When the 13 agencies have a dozen or more students, they will notify the Georgia Public Safety Training Center headquarters in Forsyth, near Macon, to send someone instruct the course.

The first class will begin April 16 at the Columbia County training facility.

Whittle said he expects some challenges, but nothing compared to the strain on the budget if he had to send his officers to Forsyth.

“I understand the problem with the state. It’s a cost-cutting measure,” Whittle said. “But for us, it’s important to have a local community academy.”

Comments (5) Add comment
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fatboyhog
2104
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fatboyhog 03/23/12 - 08:25 am
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The Augusta Tech Police

The Augusta Tech Police Academy is 18 weeks long (not 2 years), and besides graduating with a POST certification, "students will receive 21 transferrable credits to the Criminal Justice diploma, 27 transferrable credits to the Criminal Justice associate degree, and 3 transferrable credits to the Incident Command Technology Technical Certificate of Credit." (from the Augusta Tech website).

fiveobike1
65
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fiveobike1 03/23/12 - 08:25 am
0
0
The problem with Augusta

The problem with Augusta Tech. is the Sheriff has no say in what goes on there... he will with this deal...

Longway from home
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Longway from home 03/23/12 - 08:27 am
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Well Sheriff Whittle you just

Well Sheriff Whittle you just lost my vote if you were going to run. What a completely ignorant statement you made in regards to the Augusta Technical College Program. How about you learn a few things and gain some knowledge before totally dismissing a well run, well informed program. My son went through that program as many other fine young men and women, who are gainfully employed and extremely well trained. I am willing to put their top students against your 11 week program any day of the week and sure that AT students will come out on top. Never have liked you and you just again reminded me of why.

itsanotherday1
48306
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itsanotherday1 03/23/12 - 08:35 am
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Longway, you just read a lot

Longway, you just read a lot into a comment that may or may not be true. As a disinterested observer (I have no LE connection), I didn't take Whittle's comments to be disparaging towards the AT program. It seemed to me that he was suggesting the additional time and expense of the program were what made it not an option, not the quality of training.

Just my $.02.

Longway from home
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Longway from home 03/23/12 - 08:41 am
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Maybe so itsanotherday but

Maybe so itsanotherday but there are other comments made that not all are aware of. He still should get his facts straight about a program before trying to explain his reasoning for it "not being an option". But I think fiveobike1 hit it on the head.

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