The Georgia Southern University Police Department (UPD) continues to go above and beyond to ensure the University is a safe and better place to live and work. In an extraordinary achievement, a UPD group of 68 sworn employees – officers and dispatchers – completed 6,782 hours of training last year, averaging nearly 100 hours of training per officer.
“Certified peace officers in the state of Georgia are required to take 20 hours of training each year in order to keep their certification,” noted Georgia Southern Chief of Police Laura McCullough. “This means that GSUPD officers, as well as dispatchers and support staff who are not required to train annually, completed nearly five times the required amount of training during 2020. That is an incredible amount of training for any one person to receive in a year, much less an entire staff of officers, dispatchers and support staff personnel.”
The proactive training was either required by the University System of Georgia, the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, the department or was requested by the individual officers. The training covered a wide range of courses including legal updates, community policing, firearms skills, DUI detection, supervision training, investigations, and crisis intervention that helps officers communicate more effectively with individuals who may be dealing with a crisis. McCullough applauded the UPD personnel for demonstrating their devotion to the department and the University.
“Our officers and staff work very hard to provide the best possible service we can to our community,” she stated. “There are a lot of other agencies where they could work and not have to put so much extra time into training, which means additional time away from their families and friends. To see officers with this level of dedication to providing excellent service to the campus community, is proof of how much doing this job and doing it right means to every member of UPD.”
The police chief also stated that it’s important for students, faculty and staff to know how hard the officers work to continually improve their skills and help provide the Georgia Southern University community with a safe environment.