“(It) is a regional law enforcement academy sponsored by Cobb County,” said Nancy Bodiford, the sheriff’s office spokeswoman. “Many law enforcement agencies from around the greater metropolitan area provide instructional staff and other in-kind services in order to jointly train their officers at the academy.”
Members of Mandate Class No. 274 attended a ceremony Tuesday at the Cobb County Safety Village in Marietta.
Cobb Sheriff’s Deputy Matthew Mize earned the John Marchant Jr. Leadership Award, named after the academy’s former director, for winning the election to class president.
Mize also earned the marksmanship award for scoring the highest overall average on the firing range.
Other local graduates from the sheriff’s office were Nadja Bauer, Joseph Calfee-Vittetoe, Kevin Hewett, Christopher Jenkins, Donald Portwood and Dylan Pugh.
Austell, Marietta, Powder Springs and Smyrna police departments also took part.
Austell’s police department sent William Gunby and Isha Seaborn.
Marietta was represented by Jonathan Brown — who was the class honor student — Jeremy Grimm and Omar Newell.
Daniel Belgard attended from Powder Springs, joined by Smyrna officers Michael Brooks, Carmen Cristancho, George Mitchell and Abraham Suarez-Santiago.
Attendees also came from the cities of Bremen, Hiram and Roswell; Bartow, Carroll, Douglas, Floyd and Paulding counties; as well as the Norfolk Southern Railroad Police Department.
The basic training class includes Georgia law, criminal procedures, firearms, emergency vehicle operations, defensive tactics, search and seizure, and other law enforcement-related subjects, Bodiford said.
“The academy receives primary funding from the State of Georgia and Cobb County,” she said, adding that agencies contribute user subscription fees.
Its value lies in creating a central, unified system for honing crime-fighting skills that create a ripple effect once they hit the streets, Bodiford said.
“One of the significant advantages of the regional academy is that it brings together the very best instructors from around the region and allows officers to train with their peers,” she said. “Crime increasingly crosses jurisdictional lines, and having officers from multiple agencies train together creates firm relationships and best practices that are deployed in the field when they return to their respective agencies to begin duty.”
The next class begins Jan. 4.