Graduating officers are program's first

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Ruth Hernandez had never held a gun before she enrolled in Augusta Technical College's inaugural Peace Officers Training class.

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Seventeen graduates of the first class of the Augusta Technical College Peace Officers Training Academy are sworn in Thursday by Superior Court Judge Michael Annis during graduation.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Seventeen graduates of the first class of the Augusta Technical College Peace Officers Training Academy are sworn in Thursday by Superior Court Judge Michael Annis during graduation.

But that was 18 weeks ago.

Ms. Hernandez left the school's graduation ceremony Thursday as the class sharpshooter, with the award for class "Top Gun" in hand.

"I'm excited and it's something I can continue to improve on," said Ms. Hernandez, who plans to pursue shooting as a hobby.

The 17 graduates of the pilot program will be looking for careers in law enforcement. The program provides up to 300 more credit hours than the typical police academy, and Ken Jones, the course director, said it is already preparing for its next group of students.

"We learned a lot for next time as far as what to do and what not to do," said Mr. Jones, who added that the next course, which begins July 31, is already 75 percent full.

Speaking at the ceremony, Class Leader Misty May fought back tears as she praised their work over the past several months.

"The thin blue line in Georgia just got a little deeper," Ms. May said.

Guest speaker Richard Muns, the retired director of public safety for the Richmond County Board of Education, reminded the students that they will be under a microscope, from the media and the public.

Mr. Muns urged them to remember their oath and to live up to the ethics their authority requires.

"You are offering all that you are as collateral," he said.

Reach Adam Folk at (706) 823-3339 or adam.folk@augustachronicle.com.

LEARN MORE

For more information about Augusta Technical College's Peace Officers Training Academy, contact the office at (706) 792-9044 or www.augustatech.edu. Classes start July 31.

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justus4
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justus4 06/05/09 - 07:02 am
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Class leader..."fought back
Unpublished

Class leader..."fought back tears" as she praised their work. Huh? This course was designed for what? Peace Officers! Where are they? Where do they work? Surely this is a joke, cause peace is no where to be found in policing communities. These folks are being set up, and such an emotional response to the course completion is the first hint.

ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts
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ColdBeerBoiledPeanuts 06/05/09 - 09:18 am
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justus, once again ignorance

justus, once again ignorance rears it's ugly head!

hurlyburly11
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hurlyburly11 06/05/09 - 09:21 am
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LOL justus....you are a hoot

LOL justus....you are a hoot !!!

aktr1
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aktr1 06/06/09 - 12:18 am
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Set up for what exactly?

Set up for what exactly?

Asitisinaug
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Asitisinaug 06/06/09 - 03:47 am
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Justus4 is a moronic

Justus4 is a moronic egomanical idiot who believes the world is out to get him and all minorities and that he is owed preferential treatment for actions taken by persons over 100 years ago that have nothing to do with todays society. He and others like him are exactly why peace officers have such a tough job ahead because no matter what they do idiots try to second guess everything and jump to conclusions and no matter what take the side of a criminal, especially if it is a minority. These officers are receiving excellent training, more than required by POST and will be better prepared once they are employed and complete their field training. Justice4 is and continues to be a blight on our society as are all with his type of views and racism.

aktr1
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aktr1 06/06/09 - 12:55 pm
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lol Just wanted to see his

lol Just wanted to see his opinion. B/c the Program was 700hrs long and the cadets received several certifications that aren't normally given in the basic training and have had a significantly lower fail rate than other programs.

FallingLeaves
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FallingLeaves 06/06/09 - 03:13 pm
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Does a lower fail rate in

Does a lower fail rate in this course compared to other courses, mean this course produces superior or inferior officers compared to the other courses?

aktr1
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aktr1 06/08/09 - 02:35 pm
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They took the same tests from

They took the same tests from POST and also where trained in areas not covered in the 10 week program.

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