How to Become a Police Officer in GA

To become a police officer in Georgia one must meet the requirements and follow the steps laid out by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST). The first step would be to fill out an application with the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Once approved, a candidate may enroll in a training program. Once all parts of training are passed, and all requirements are met, a candidate would become a certified peace officer and could work for a police department within the state of Georgia.

So, unlike other most other states where you apply to an actual police department first, Georgia requires you to be trained first. This means that the cost of police training is going to come out of the applicants pocket rather than the police department. This is important to know when beginning the process so that you can plan accordingly.

How to Become a Police Officer in GA

Georgia has slightly different requirements for candidates who are looking to go into law enforcement. For starters, a candidate must simply be 18 years of age. Most states require candidates to be 21, so this is quite a large difference to begin with. Basic requirements such as being a US citizen, having a valid driver’s license and having a high school diploma or GED are also part of the requirements. Georgia’s requirements on criminal activity is that a candidate may not have committed a crime for which they could have been imprisoned for. Candidates must then contact a Georgia Public Safety Training Center about the possibility of attending. If a candidate’s application to POST is approved, the candidate will then undergo a full background check prior to taking the entrance exam. Candidates must also be fingerprinted and have a physical exam. Once all of these are completed and passed they may interview with the Public Safety Training center they wish to attend. If approved they may begin their training at the center. Check with your local training center to find out dates of programs and locations. The program is 11 weeks long, tuition costs 3,093 with additional fees of approximately 700 on top of tuition.

After completing the process above and going through the training center program, you can then find a job in Georgia. Keep in mind that Georgia has a very wide variety of both urban and rural police departments. It may be a good idea to research areas that you would be interested in working for prior to applying.

Police Officer Salary in Georgia

Georgia is on the lower end of the country’s average for police officer salaries. Law Enforcement lists Georgia’s average patrol officer salary as 37,440 dollars a year. Detectives and criminal investigators make slightly more at an average of 45,600 a year in Georgia. Part of the low average salaries has to do with low population in Georgia. An officer working in Atlanta, for instance would make 44,000 a year, which is much higher than the state average. This is because Atlanta has the largest population and the largest need for officers of the law. If you work in very rural regions of Atlanta, however, you can expect to make less than the state average (probably closer to 30,000 a year). Many factors determine salary, and as with any job you can expect to have pay increases the longer you work. Also, police benefits are on average, much better than many other jobs. This can make up for the lower pay.

Georgia Public Safety Training Centers

The following is a list of Georgia Public Safety Training Centers and their locations as well as contact information for the programs:

  • GPSTC Athens
    Richard Dixon, Training Manager
    155 Buddy Christian Way
    Athens, GA 30605
    Phone: (706) 369-6342
    Fax: (706) 369-6335
  • GPSTC Bibb
    Timothy Melton, Training Manager
    100 College Station Drive
    Macon, GA 31206
    Phone: (478) 471-5796
    FAX: (478) 471-2471
  • GPSTC Cherokee
    Chadd Wilson, Training Manager
    498 Chattin Drive
    Canton, GA 30115
    Phone: (678) 880-4847
    Fax: (770) 345-3228
  • GPSTC Columbia/Richmond
    Richard Dixon, Training Manager
    Classes are being conducted at GPSTC Columbia/Richmond on an as needed basis.
    Contact the Academy manager for more information.
  • GPSTC Columbus
    Billy Mixon, Training Manager
    3001 Macon Road
    Columbus, GA 31906
    Phone: (706) 568-2025
    FAX: (706) 569-3127
  • GPSTC Dalton
    Chadd Wilson, Training Manager
    Classes are being conducted at GPSTC Dalton on an as needed basis.
    Contact the Academy manager for more information.
  • GPSTC Garden City
    Harlan Proveaux, Training Manager
    108 Sunshine Avenue
    Garden City, GA 31405
    Phone: (912) 644-7766
    FAX: (912) 644-7700
  • GPSTC Tifton
    Marty Smith, Training Manger
    2802 Moore Highway, ABAC 49
    Tifton, GA 31793
    Phone: (229) 386-3606
    FAX: (229) 386-7246
  • North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy Major Hansell Walraven, Jr., Director
    5000 Austell-Powder Springs Rd, Ste 151
    Austell, GA 30106
    Phone: (770) 499-5080
    FAX: (770) 732-5938