How to Become a Police officer in Georgia

3 Reasons Why Police Recruits Fail
the GA police academy

Out of shape

applicants who aren't in shape will usually struggle at the police academy. newsflash, the academy won't wait until you get in shape, you'll have to be in shape day 1.

poor muscular strength

pushups are something you will do a lot of at the police academy. not being able to do pushups will lead to performing poorly.

Failing Exams

not doing well on exams at the law enforcement academy is a sign that you'll likely get the pink slip. make sure to review basic traffic and criminal laws before attending the GA academy.

Minimum Qualifications

Here are some of the basic requirements to become a police officer in Georgia. Note some agencies may have additional requirements

  • Must be a U.S. citizen to be eligible for a POST certification in GA
  • Must Be at least 21 years old
  • Possession of a valid Georgia driver’s license
  • You must have a high school diploma or equivalent
  • Honorable discharge from the armed forces
  • Successfully complete a comprehensive background check
  • Must be able to read, write and speak the english language
  • Vision Corrected to 20/20 with Normal Color Vision

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How to Become a Police Officer in Georgia

Basic qualifications to becoming a police officer in Georgia begin with a minimum age of 21 years old and a high school diploma or GED equivalent. Candidates must have a valid Georgia or South Carolina driver’s license, an excellent driving record and no felony convictions. Good physical and mental health is necessary, and U.S. citizenship an absolute requirement.

Although Georgia has a Certified Peace Officer Program, attaining the certificate is not a requirement but it is a preference on the part of employers. Preference also is given to candidates who have earned an Associate Degree or who have prior law enforcement experience.

That said, becoming a Certified Peace Officer is certainly a good starting step. The certification process is regulated by the Georgia Police Officers Standards and Training Council (POST) and taking a look at the organization’s website will provide a great deal of useful information. It can be accessed at www.gpstc.org. Check out the Quick Link menu on the left and click on Becoming a Police Officer.

Police Officer Certification Process in GA

The certification course is an intense 11-week training program offered by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center at seven locations throughout the state: Athens, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Forsythe, Savannah and Tifton. In addition there are two contract institutions at College Park and Austell.

Students at the academies may already have been employed by a police agency. In these instances they already have been screened to meet minimum standards. Students who are not employed by a policeagency are “Pre-Service Candidates” and must go though an application and screening process to assure minimum standards to become a peace officer in Georgia are met. Pre-Service Candidates should call a facility directly to begin the process. A list of the academies and links to their websites can be found at www.gpstc.org/divisions/basictraining.html.

Peace Officer Disqualification Factors

In addition to the minimum standards noted above, there are some additional qualifications candidates will have to meet before acceptance into an academy.

For instance, above and beyond the prohibition concerning felony convictions, candidates also must show that they have not been convicted of “sufficient misdemeanors to establish a pattern of disregard for law.” They will have to be fingerprinted to allow the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation to do a criminal background check. Candidates also will have to pay for and pass a drug screen test. The cost of the background investigation and drug screening, currently $245, is paid for by the candidate.

The application process also requires taking and passing an entrance examination and an interview with the academy manager. If both these final steps are passed, an application to attend the academy must be submitted, with a processing fee of $150.

The full cost of attending the academy for a Pre-Service Candidate is $3,093, payable on the first day of class.

The process and requirements in Georgia are detailed and candidates should definitely access the POST website to become familiar with all the details before starting the process.

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