SRTC receives over $200K for law enforcement training program
MOULTRIE, Ga. (WALB) - On Wednesday, Gov. Brian Kemp and Jay Neal, the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council executive director, announced the award of 63 grants in the amount of $6,756,389 for the Law Enforcement Training Grant Program.
Southern Regional Technical College (SRTC) was named one of the 63 awardees, receiving a total of $213,086 in grant funding.
During the 2020 legislative session, Gov. Kemp recommended and lawmakers approved the creation of a law enforcement training grant program through the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council for state and local law enforcement agencies.
“We are committed to giving law enforcement officers across the state specialized training and resources needed to provide the best possible public safety to Georgia’s citizens,” said Kemp. “This grant program will help pay for essential training - including in use of force and de-escalation - for state and local law enforcement officers and give them the tools they need to keep our communities safe.”
The SRTC Police Department is responsible for patrolling the college’s campuses, including the four main campus locations in Bainbridge, Moultrie, Thomasville and Tifton. They provide protection and safety for 5,000 plus students, faculty and staff, more than one million square feet of property and millions of dollars in assets while enforcing all state and local laws.
As a recipient of the grant, the SRTC PD said it plans to move, refurbish, update and replace the obsolete components of the VirTra Judgmental Use of Force Simulator, an existing tool used by the college. This will provide access to a Use of Force Simulator for internal users as well as local agencies in the Southwest Georgia area that currently do not have access to one within a reasonable distance. The SRTC PD said it will house the simulator, give local agencies in our area access to it and provide an instructor when needed to those small agencies that do not currently have an instructor on staff.
These agencies include Bainbridge Department of Public Safety, Decatur County Sheriff’s Office, Decatur County School Police Department, Bainbridge Marshall’s Office, Cairo Police Department, Grady County Sheriff’s Office, Colquitt Police Department, Miller County Sheriff’s Office, Donalsonville Police Department and Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
“Having a simulator available locally would enable the college and each of these agencies to regularly provide training to their officers at no expense. An instructor can bring officers in one or two at a time while they are on duty for an hour of training, which means no additional travel or overtime cost to the agency. This would provide each officer the opportunity to train on the simulator several times over the course of a year, as opposed to just once in a career. As a law enforcement instructor with over 15 years of instructor experience, I am totally confident that access to the simulator on a regular basis would greatly enhance the training programs these agencies provide their officers,” said James Spooner, the SRTC chief of police.
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