Nine students from the Savannah Technical College Peace Officer Academy recently celebrated graduating from the program with a completion ceremony. Liberty County Sheriff William Bowman presented the group challenge.
The four men and five women have completed coursework containing the entire Georgia Peace Officer Standards & Training (P.O.S.T.) Basic Law Enforcement Training Course. Their successful completion of the program qualifies them to be state-certified peace officers.
This is the 35th group of students to complete the program since its inception in 2009. To date, the program has graduated more than 400 P.O.S.T.-certified officers. Many candidates are in various stages of the application process with statewide agencies. Seven of the nine candidates have been hired by area police departments including Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, Garden City Police Department, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and Richmond Hill Police Department. The other two have pending employment with area agencies. STC’s Peace Officer Academy has a 97% placement rate.
Each cohort selects a fallen officer for whom the graduating class will be named. The cohorts have a tradition of giving the family of the fallen officer a challenge coin dedicated to the officer. A challenge coin is a symbol of an unbreakable bond of dedication and allegiance among military personnel and law enforcement officers. The challenge coin tradition started as a military tradition in World War I and was later adopted by law enforcement.
This cohort honors APO Charles Van Vleck of Georgia Ports Authority Police Department, who passed away on January 10, 2021. APO Van Vleck had served with the GPA for 18 years and had previously served with the US Coast Guard for 20 years. He was survived by his wife, four children, grandchildren, siblings, family and friends.
The Basic POST Certification Technical Certificate of Credit provides students with the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to become competent law enforcement officers. The 11-week cohort program utilizes classroom instruction pertaining to criminal justice theory and the prevailing principles of modern law enforcement, as well as practical application of pertinent enforcement skills. College coursework contains the entire Georgia Peace Officers Standards & Training (P.O.S.T.) Basic Law Enforcement Training Course so that successful completion of the program will qualify the student to be a state-certified peace officer.