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GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Held Thursday, Feb. 23

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Graduates of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201602 are: Back row (from left to right) Thomas Williams, Bryce Momon, Brett Nesbitt, Micah Alexander, and Andrew Hooker. Front Row (from left to right) Joshua McFadden, Keasha Brown, Enrico Garcia, Vanessa Robledo, and Gabe Shipman.

(Calhoun, GA) – Friends, family, and the community gathered at the Conference Center located at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor students graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201602 on Thursday, Feb. 23.

During the ceremony, 10 law enforcement officers were recognized in front of a standing room only crowd. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, community leaders, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region and beyond also were in attendance at the ceremony.

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and introducing current and former staff from the academy.

“I would like to give my appreciation to the chiefs, sheriffs, officers, and people from different emergency services that are here,” said Pledger. “Many of these people are also instructors for us and they come here and they pass along their expertise to these young individuals that are graduating today.”

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Mike Barton, director of Internal Affairs for the Georgia Department of Juvenile Justice.

Joshua McFadden was the student speaker for the ceremony. McFadden told his classmates that everything they do from this day forward is earned.

“I know we will all be successful in this career path and we all sacrificed a lot of time away from our families to get here,” said McFadden.

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Joshua McFadden was the student speaker for the ceremony.
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Enrico A. Garcia (left) was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship by Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC.

Enrico A. Garcia was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship and Thomas E. Williams, III received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201501 are: Micah C. Alexander, Keasha S. Brown, Enrico A. Garcia, Christopher A. Hooker, Joshua B. McFadden, Kaden B. Momon, Brett L. Nesbitt, Vanessa S. Robledo, Gabriel B. Shipman, and Thomas E. Williams, III.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate 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.

Basic Law Enforcement: Next Classes This May

French Connection Brings Basic Law Enforcement To Forefront

Georgia Northwestern’s Sainton Shares Story Of Police Work In Two Nations

 

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“French Police Nationale officer and GNTC alum Fabrice Sainton, left, poses for a picture in a Basic Law Enforcement classroom on the college’s Gordon County Campus in Calhoun, Georgia. Also shown is Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger.”

 

(Northwest Georgia) – He’s personally guarded the biggest names on the planet. From actors to royalty, Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) alum Fabrice Sainton truly has worldwide experience in law enforcement. But, after more than 20 years in the business, it’s what he’s learned about his craft through law enforcement education at GNTC that has him giving praise.

 

“I’ve worked in law enforcement with the “Police Nationale” (National Police) in France since 1989. It’s an amazing job,” said Sainton of his service as an armed police escort for his country. “But now, the academy at GNTC is exceptional. Truly exceptional. It helped me learn what I needed to in order to grow in my field. It gave me the background and the reasoning behind what gets done in this profession.”

 

“Fabrice is one of a kind,” said GNTC Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) Academy Director Jim Pledger. “His background in the law really has made me, as an educator, work even harder at doing my job and providing what’s necessary to my recruits.” The BLE Academy begins a new class of recruits twice a year at the Gordon County Campus of GNTC in Calhoun, Georgia.

 

Going to GNTC was a simple choice. “Coming to the U.S., my lifestyle and my income changed greatly,” said Sainton. “But, I didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity like enrolling in the law enforcement academy. It was an eye-opener for me.”

 

Currently, on leave from the French Police Force, Sainton works on the support staff at the Technical College System of Georgia college while working on his educational goals. Earning an associate’s degree in 2013 through GNTC, he anticipates earning his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Reinhardt University this December. Then, he hopes to enter graduate school at Reinhardt University.

 

“I want to learn all I can while I’m here. There are many differences in law enforcement work between the U.S. and France,” added Sainton. “In France, the only guns that are owned by the public are only for hunting. We take that very serious. We also handle policing differently, in regards to patrolling. Here, a department will send out one officer to patrol an area. In France, you always have a partner with you. It’s just a different country that looks at things differently than we do in the United States.”

 

Sainton, a career officer for more than two decades in France, was first trained to be an armed motorcycle escort. The 48-year-old has guarded everyone from Princess Diana to President Clinton to the King of Spain.

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GNTC alum Fabrice Sainton, left, while on duty with the Police Nationale in France during his service while in-country, before his stateside assignment. This particular detail had him guarding Ray Charles, right, during one of the musician’s trips to France.

“Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Cruise, Ray Charles, and other celebrities have been special guests of the country that I would personally guard on many occasions,” added Sainton. “Schwarzenegger still e-mails me. I’ve led many details for royalty from other nations during major events. But, not everything was glamorous. I did lose Ray Charles once.”  When asked if Sainton meant the blind musician from the United States, he simply said, “Oui. Yes.” Apparently, Charles decided to leave his hotel room in the middle of the night and take a cab into town. When he finally returned after sunrise, Sainton met him at his cab and asked, “Mr. Charles, where have you been?” The world renowned singer simply kept walking into the hotel and said, “I just couldn’t sleep at all.”

 

Six years ago, Sainton left his assignment in France to fill an assignment stateside with military personnel in the United States in 2010. “I worked with American soldiers who needed to learn French for overseas assignments,” said Sainton. “Work in many foreign countries required soldiers to know Arabic. However, some of those same countries actually have even deeper roots in French culture. Many of them were originally French territories. So, many people there speak French.”

 

A little more than a year later, Sainton would be asked by his country to move closer to Atlanta to be more accessible to the French Consulate located in Georgia’s capital. “That’s when I moved to Marietta and, ultimately, met my wife,” proudly stated Sainton. “She was helping me find an apartment in Calhoun at the time. My wife always tells me that things happen for a reason. I was the lucky one, for sure.”

 

It was after this move, Sainton, a career National Police Officer for France, made the decision to pursue dual citizenship. In the next few years, Sainton would take GED® courses for a short time (because his equivalent high school diploma would not transfer) and pass the GED® exams, take English as a Second Language courses, graduate from the GNTC Basic Law Enforcement Academy, and earn an associate’s degree.

 

And, as tough as all that was to do, now Sainton has a tough choice to make this December. “Well, my long-term leave is up with the National Police and I have to return to France to meet with them and decide whether or not I want to stay with the force or move on,” said Sainton. “After going to GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy, I’m about to earn my bachelor’s degree and pursue more education. Now, I have to look at my age and where I am in life and see what’s best for me.”

 

Sainton has two stepchildren with his wife, Crystal, 19-year-old McKenzie, and 15-year-old Hunter. He also has two older daughters back in France, Lucie is 23 and Justine is 20. “I have a lot of family to consider in my decision,” said Sainton. “I have a brother who lives in New Caledonia, near Australia. And, also, my parents are back in France, of course. It will be a tough decision. Plus, I’m going to be 50 soon. I don’t run like I used to. Maybe it’s time to slow down.”
For more information on the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, you can call at 706.378.1735 or send an e-mail to jpledger@gntc.edu. You can also contact the college’s toll-free number at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, 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.

Paralegal Program 2016 Flyer 4 Social Media

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation Held Thursday, July 15

 

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Graduates of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201601 are: Back row (from left to right) Laura F. Williamson, Matthew T. Touhy, Philip M. Parker, and Charles K. Humphrey. Front Row (from left to right) Thomas S. Gray, Caleb A. Chambers, Preston L. Barfield, and Ashley L. Bailey.

 

(Calhoun, GA) – Friends, family, and the community gathered at the Conference Center located at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor students graduating from Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201601 on Thursday, July 15.

 

During the ceremony, eight law enforcement officers were recognized in front of a standing room only crowd. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, community leaders, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region and beyond also were in attendance at the ceremony.

 

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and introducing current and former staff from the academy.

 

“Everyone that teaches here has a lot of experience and we pass that along to our students,” said Pledger.

 

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Sheriff Mitch Ralston of the Gordon County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Ralston became Sheriff in 2009 and his law enforcement career spans over 27 years. He served on the Georgia State Patrol for 18 years which included serving on the SWAT team, DUI taskforce, and a number of other different assignments.

 

He is a member of the National Sheriffs’ Association, National Constitutional Officers’ Association, Young Farmers Association, Red Carpet Cattlemen’s Association, Coosawattee Masonic Lodge #306 F&AM, and Yaarab Shriners.

 

Ralston reminded the graduates that the image they portray is a very important component of law enforcement.

 

“Your integrity is your career,” said Ralston. “The way you conduct yourself on and off duty is a reflection of your department.”

 

Laura F. Williamson was the student speaker for the ceremony.

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Laura F. Williamson, student speaker for the graduation ceremony of Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201601, presents Jim Pledger, director of the Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC, with a plaque from the class.

Caleb A. Chambers was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship and Preston L. Barnfield received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

 

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201501 are: Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201601 are Ashley L. Bailey, Preston L. Barfield, Caleb A. Chambers, Thomas S. Gray, Charles K. Humphrey, Philip M. Parker, Matthew T. Touhy, and Laura F. Williamson.

 

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate 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.

Training for the Streets at GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Academy

A New Breed of Officer Prepares for Tomorrow

GNTC-BLE-PLEDGER-GRAHAM-SMALL
“Calhoun Police Officer Hannah Graham, right, poses with Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) Basic Law Enforcement Academy Director Jim Pledger. The two stopped for an interview in one of the classrooms used for academy study on the Gordon County Campus of GNTC.”


(Calhoun, Georgia)
– You’ve seen the videos on the Internet and your television. Videos of what appear to be law enforcement officers using what some call, “excessive force.” Some of the situations have turned fatal for officers and suspects, alike.

Although a video doesn’t tell the entire story of what is taking place in a situation, it does bring to light a topic that the Basic Law Enforcement Academy (B.L.E.) at Georgia Northwestern Technical College takes extremely seriously. It’s all about the use of force exhibited by officers.

“Every 22 weeks, we bring a brand new group of recruits into the academy,” said Jim Pledger, Director of the GNTC B.L.E. Academy. “Teaching these young men and women about the realities of a life in law enforcement is something we take incredibly serious. And fortunately, we’ve been blessed enough to be able to properly train so many regarding the use of force and all that comes with it.”

The last three classes to complete the academy at GNTC have benefited from the training. Every single graduate from those previous groups were placed into a career. “We get calls from across the state asking for quality candidates for openings that law enforcement agencies need to fill now,”  said Pledger. “They are talking to candidates before they even graduate.”

One graduate that is close to home and fell into that category is 24-year-old Hannah Graham. The former Coosa High School (Rome, Georgia) athletic standout is now patrolling the streets of Calhoun, Georgia. In her second year on the force in Gordon County, Graham has already put her academy training and athletic instincts to work in the line of duty.

“I’ve only had one arrest really get physical,” said Graham. “The suspect appeared to be under the influence of something and was having a bad ‘high’. After the suspect sobered up, that person asked for me to visit them in the hospital and apologized to me for being physically aggressive toward me. It’s not a personal thing when a suspect acts out. You have to keep it that way. I’ve learned a lot from the academy and Calhoun Police Department in that regard.”

The United States Bureau of Justice Statistics defines “use of force” as the amount of effort required by law enforcement to gain compliance from an unwilling subject. When it becomes excessive, according to the same source, is when that effort is beyond what is reasonably believed to be necessary to gain the same level of compliance.

“It’s about teaching the future officer how to control a situation,” said Pledger. “We are teaching these students to apply force when it is required. And also, showing them what kind of force is necessary and reasonable in doing the job.”

Graham, currently in her fifth year with the U.S. Army National Guard, says she knows just how serious the academy is about handling these potentially dangerous situations, adequately and appropriately. “Any suspect trying to get away is not necessarily attempting to hurt the officer,” said Graham. “They simply don’t want to be detained and are trying free themselves.”

During the “Use of Force” section of training at the Calhoun, Georgia-based academy, students learn first-hand how to deal with a physical situation with a suspect. “Use of force isn’t about someone being angry and fighting them,” stated Pledger. “It’s about controlling a situation with only the amount of force that is necessary. Anytime you go beyond that boundary, then you are violating the fourth amendment involving search and seizure; as well as due process.”

The constitution does not require a person walking down the street to speak with a police officer, unless there is suspicion of something taking place that shouldn’t. “However, if it’s the middle of the night and we see someone prowling through something behind Wal-Mart, and we ask, can we talk with you for a moment? If they say no, now we can seize them because we have a suspicion that something is going on,” said Pledger.

Stories of suspects being hurt while in the custody of law enforcement agencies are all too common across the country these days. But as the academy’s director teaches the students, the job is about more than protecting the innocent. “Once I have you in custody, you’re in custody,” said Pledger. “And now, it’s my job to protect you and make sure you get to where you need to be, safely. Once I have you in handcuffs, I have no right to ‘get you back’. We have defensive tactic classes that teach the right way to handle this. Everyone has rights that are to be respected.”

Graham, who started working night shift for the Calhoun Police Department just two days after her graduation from the GNTC B.LE. Academy, looks at the sensitive situation like this. “I ask my friends if they have ever visited a doctor that they felt wasn’t that good,” said Graham. “I then ask if they think, as a result, that all doctors must be bad. And, of course, they don’t think that. So, if a few officers in the world are accused of questionable practice, that doesn’t mean every officer is going to be that way. We do what we do because we care about the town. We really do care about the people.”

Her own family are among those she is working for every time she hits the streets. Of course, she has seen the good and the bad when it comes to those closest to her, just like everyone else. She has had several family members sentenced to prison during her life time. “It’s played a part in my decision to pursue law enforcement,” said Graham. “The important part of this job is to just let the people know we are here and will do what’s necessary, if and when the time comes.”

The Floyd County, Georgia native will take a hiatus from her police duties. Later this year, her U.S. Army National Guard unit will be called up to active duty. It’s a deployment that is expected to send her overseas. “They say her job will still be there for her when she returns from her military obligation,” said Pledger. “Calhoun’s Chief (Garry) Moss met with her before her graduation and was sold on her right away. She’s been with them for two years now.”

“I’ve always wanted to be a police officer,” said Graham. “Everybody wanted to be a police officer or a firefighter when I was younger. It all just sort of worked out for me. A friend of mine went through the (B.L.E.) academy a year before I did and talked me into going, too. Everything has just fit together for me.”

The final day to apply for the next academy is February 1. Classes begin February 8. Call 706.378.1728 or e-mail dmcclelland@gntc.edu for information.

For more information on Basic Law Enforcement Academy at Georgia Northwestern, contact them at 706.378.1728. Or, you can contact the main line at GNTC at 866.983.4682 (GNTC). For information online, visit them at GNTC.edu, as well as on their Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, WordPress, 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.

GNTC Law Enforcement Academy Graduation

Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law enforcement Academy at GNTC, congratulates Tyler J. Ware (left) for graduating from GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy.
Jim Pledger (right), director of the Law enforcement Academy at GNTC, congratulates Tyler J. Ware (left) for graduating from GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy.

November 12 Ceremony on the Gordon County Campus

(Calhoun, GA) – On Thursday, Nov. 12, 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 Law Enforcement Academy.

 

Graduates of GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy, Training Class #201502,are (from left to right) Matthew A. Hicks, Anthony M. Owens, William M. Guthridge, Tyler J. Ware, Mitchell B. Massingill, Bruce W. Brott, II, and David M. Rayborn.
Graduates of GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy, Training Class #201502,are (from left to right) Matthew A. Hicks, Anthony M. Owens, William M. Guthridge, Tyler J. Ware, Mitchell B. Massingill, Bruce W. Brott, II, and David M. Rayborn.

 

During the ceremony, seven law enforcement officers graduated from the program. Advisory board members, chiefs, sheriffs, and fellow law enforcement officers from the Northwest Georgia region and beyond also were in attendance at the ceremony.

 

The proceedings began with Jim Pledger, director of the Law enforcement Academy at GNTC, welcoming guests and praising students for their achievement.

 

“I’m really proud of this group,” said Pledger. “As you can see a majority of them are wearing a uniform which means that they have already been hired.”

 

The keynote speaker at the ceremony was Greg Ramey, special agent in charge of the Georgia Bureau of Investigations (GBI) Region 1 Calhoun Field Office.

 

Ramey began his career with the GBI in the Region 6 Milledgeville Office from 1985 to 1989 and the Region 1 Calhoun Office from 1989 to 2001. He was also the regional narcotics specialist from 1991 to 1997 and was the Region 1 child abuse specialist from 1997 to 2002.

 

In 2002, Ramey was the case agent for the Tri State Crematory Investigation and later that year he was promoted to the rank of assistant special agent in charge and transferred to the Haralson Paulding Drug Task Force. He transferred to the Region 1 Calhoun Office in 2009 as the assistant special agent in charge and was promoted to special agent in charge of the Canton Regional Drug Enforcement Office in 2012. The following year Ramey returned to the Region 1 Office as special agent in charge.

 

Ramey told the graduates to never stop pushing themselves to do better.

 

“My challenge to you is to demand from yourself personal integrity, accountability, commitment, and performance that positively impacts your department and your community,” said Ramey.

 

Bruce W. Brott, II was the student speaker for the ceremony. Brott thanked all the instructors and staff members from GNTC and all of the members of law enforcement that worked with the academy during training.

 

“You really instilled a lot on us during training and built a good foundation for us to further build upon and start careers,” said Brott.

Matthew A. Hicks was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship.
Matthew A. Hicks was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship.

Matthew A. Hicks was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship and Anthony M. Owens received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic Law Enforcement Training Class #201502 are Bruce W. Brott, II, William M. Guthridge, Matthew A. Hicks, Mitchell B. Massingill, Anthony M. Owens, David M. Rayborn, and Tyler J. Ware.

 

Since 1962, Georgia Northwestern Technical College has been instrumental in providing quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. The mission of Georgia Northwestern Technical College is to provide accessible, high quality technical education and workforce development opportunities.  Serving the nine counties of Catoosa; Chattooga; Dade; Floyd; Gordon; Murray; Polk; Walker; and Whitfield, GNTC has five convenient campus locations in Floyd, Gordon, Polk, Walker, and Whitfield counties. With programs of study in business, health, industrial, and public service available, students have the opportunity to earn an associate’s degree, diploma, or a certificate from GNTC.  This past year, 14,562 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 8,249 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia and the fifth largest technical college in the state of Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 6,313 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start.

Fall Classes Are Two Weeks Away, What’s Your Plan?

Still wondering what career your headed for? Check out a web production of a behind-the-scenes look at the Basic Law Enforcement Academy at GNTC.

Learning Law at GNTC

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