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.
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.
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.
Albany GA Police Department
Americus Police Department
Atlanta Police Department
Augusta Richmond County Sheriffs Dept
Augusta State University Police
Bartow County Sheriffs Office
Cartersville Police Department
Cedartown Police Department
Cherokee County Sheriffs Office
Clarke County Sheriffs Office
Clayton County Police Department
Clayton County Sheriffs Office
Cobb County GA Public Safety Department
Columbia County Sheriffs Office
Columbus Police Dept.
Coweta County Sheriffs Office
Dalton Police Department
Decatur Police Department
DeKalb County Department of Public Safety
DeKalb County Police Department
Dekalb Sheriffs Office
Douglasville Police Department
Duluth Police Department
East Point Police Department
Effingham County Sheriff’s Office
Elberton Police Department
Emory University Police Dept.
Fayette County Marshals Office
Floyd County Sheriffs Office
Forest Park Police Dept.
Fulton County Marshals Department
Fulton County Police Department
Fulton County Sheriffs Department
Garden City Police Department
Glynn County Police Department
Gordon County Sheriffs Office
Gwinnett County Sheriffs Department
Hahira Police Department
Hazlehurst Police Department
Henry County Police
Hinesville Police Dept.
Homerville Police Department
Jesup Police Department
Jonesboro Police Department
Kingsland Police Department
LaGrange Police Department
Laurens County Sheriffs Office
Lee County Sheriffs Department
Liberty County Sheriff Department
Lowndes County Sheriffs Office
Macon Police Department
Manchester Police Department
Monroe Police Department
Nahunta Police Department
Newington Police Department
Oconee County Sheriffs Office
Paulding County GA Sheriffs Department
Peachtree City Police Department
Remerton Police Department
Richmond Hill GA Police Department
Riverdale Police Department
Rockdale County Sheriffs Office
Rome Police Department
Roswell Police Department
Savannah Police Department
Smyrna Police Department
Snellville Police Department
St. Marys Police Department
Stone Mountain Police Department
Sumter County Sheriffs Office
Suwanee Police Department
Tattnall County Sheriff Office
Thomasville Police Department
Tift County Sheriffs Office
Tifton Police Department
Tybee Island Police Department
Tyrone Public Safety Department
Valdosta State University Dept of Public Safety
Vidalia Police Department
Warner Robins Police Department
Wilkes County Sheriffs Department
Winder Police Department