(Calhoun, GA) – On Thursday, July 3, friends and family gathered at the Conference Center located at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor the students graduating from the Basic Law Enforcement Academy.
During the ceremony, nine law enforcement officers graduated from the program. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region also were in attendance at the ceremony.
The keynote speaker was Kenneth A. Vance, executive director of Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Vance also has served as the director of Public Safety at Georgia College and State University, as councilman for the city of Milledgeville, as a deputy sheriff for Baldwin County, and as a police officer for the Monroe Police Department.
“You have a duty to protect and serve, that is your responsibility now,” said Vance. “It is obvious to me that you got this far because you care and I think you will be successful in the future because of that fundamental value.”
Vance also has been active in numerous civic and professional groups including serving as chairman and vice-chairman of the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, chairman of the State of Georgia Municipal Training Institute, and has served on the board of directors for the Georgia Municipal Association.
Robert White was the student speaker for the ceremony. White said that he developed a special bond with his fellow graduates during training.
“Twenty-one weeks ago me and these guys came together in a classroom as strangers,” said White. “Today I will leave looking at these guys as my brothers and sisters.”
Marcus J. Alford was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship. Alford also received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.
Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training class #201401 are: Marcus J. Alford, Matthew B. Byars, Matthew F. Cowan, James T. Davis, Robin W. Graham, James D. Holland, Tisha M. Owens, Joshua W. VanDyke, and Robert T. White.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College serves Catoosa, Chattooga, Dade, Floyd, Gordon, Murray, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties in Georgia with campuses located in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. Approximately 16,000 people benefit from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs, making it the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in Georgia.