(Northwest Georgia) – Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) latest Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduates have a chance to see some serious cash. If they start their new career in Northwest Georgia, several agencies are now rewarding properly trained men and women just for signing their name on the dotted line.


The City of Dalton, Georgia Police Department is the latest agency to add a cash incentive to new officers just entering the field. It will require a three-year commitment from the new signee, but it’s a perk of the job that many will look forward to. A certified new officer could be eligible for a $4,000 signing bonus.


“A sign-on bonus could basically replace the out of pocket expenses the student accrued or pay off any student loans that were necessary to pay tuition,” said GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger. “Those who have attended college can all relate to the stress of having to repay college loans. So basically, if the student is hired by an organization offering a sign-on bonus, they get the double benefit of being employed in their chosen field and being college debt free.”


Dalton, Georgia police officer Brandon Daugherty is the Recruiting and Community Involvement Officer for his department. “This is a Tuition Reimbursement Program to attract pre-service candidates to our agency,” said Daugherty. “Anyone who paid their way through the academy and recently graduated may qualify.  This offer is for new graduates that are certified.   It does not apply to certified candidates that are already employed at another agency.”


One way to get certified is through an academy like the one at GNTC. “The unique thing about GNTC is that the graduate not only gets their State Law Enforcement Certification, they also earn 42 semester hours that are transferable to our Criminal Justice program,” said Pledger. “Upon graduation, they are immediately employable and are more than half way to an associate’s degree in the field. Many agencies offer pay incentives for education, too.”

“One of the latest groups of Georgia Northwestern Technical College Basic Law Enforcement Academy graduates pose for a picture. The program lasts approximately six months. Successful completion leads to a state certification and earns credit hours towards a Criminal Justice degree.”

Currently, Dalton, Georgia, the county seat of Whitfield County, Georgia, has more than 33,000 residents. Nearly 90 officers are currently on the force in the Northwest Georgia town. Law enforcement agencies will often hire a candidate and then send them to a state training facility for certification.


“If a new hire isn’t able to earn certification, the person may lose their job,” said Pledger. “Economics are starting to change this process because it is so expensive for the agency. Plus, if the student is not happy with the job and wishes to leave, the new officer may have to reimburse the agency for their training.”


If someone enrolls in the GNTC Law Enforcement Program, they take part in a six-month training that leads to state certification without the risk of jeopardizing a new job. “A technical college academy combines the State of Georgia law enforcement curriculum with the academics associated with Criminal Justice,” added Pledger. “And now, students are spending more time in high risk areas in order to develop critical thinking skills needed to make solid decisions in today’s tense climate.”


For more information on Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy, contact their main office at 706-378-1728. For information online, visit the college at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube channels. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG) and an equal opportunity institute.


Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has provided degrees, diplomas, and certificates in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 13,734 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,876 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,858 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.