The Training Center
The Training Section of the Gwinnett County Police Department consists of five units: The Basic Mandate (Recruit) Academy, Firearms Training, In-Service Training, Driver’s Training, and civilian training. Because our academy is a state-certified academy, officers can take any number of courses and classes throughout the year. Our academy offers classes necessary to obtain Intermediate, Advanced, Supervisor, Management, and Instructor Certifications, in addition to numerous other elective courses. We also frequently host outside courses, to include classes from the Public Agency Training Council, Weapon Systems Training Council, Institute of Police Technology and Management, Dolan Consulting Group, and more.
The staff of the training center consists of 22 full-time, highly trained instructors, which are supplemented by more than 100 certified and advanced-certified instructors throughout the department. This allows instruction by officers in their current assignments to train on the most up-to-date tactics, information, and best practices. We also utilize instructors that are subject matter experts from outside the department, such as the District Attorney’s Office, the Georgia Prosecuting Attorney’s Council, the Georgia Sexual Assault Center, the Gwinnett County Department of Fire and Emergency Services, the Georgia Police Academy, and the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
Our policy states, “Employees are encouraged to identify their options and to seek out new interests, areas of specialization, or overall job enrichment to enhance their potential for upward mobility.” [GDM 702.04]. When we say we want our officers to be the best trained, we mean it. We encourage officers to pursue their passion, realizing the intrinsic value to the officer, the department, and the community.
When officers need additional educational opportunities outside of our academy, typically for specialized training, the department will pay for the course and all associated costs. We recognize that to have the most progressive and relevant police force, we must have highly trained officers.
Because we are a larger agency we have numerous specialized units that require specialized instruction, such as the Aviation Unit, SWAT, Hazardous Devices, Accident Investigations, Homicide Investigations, K-9, and Training. Typically, after two years of successful performance, a new officer is eligible to transfer to a specialized unit.
The Police Department also encourages continuing education (accredited colleges and universities and technical school courses) through its tuition reimbursement program. Officers that have worked for Gwinnett County for at least two years are eligible to participate in the County’s Tuition Reimbursement Program. In addition to paying for tuition, the agency attempts to accommodate those individuals by placement in a duty assignment that will facilitate academic study (yet not disrupt delivery of services).
Opportunities For Promotion
The Gwinnett County Police Department offers excellent opportunities for promotion and advancement within the agency. Our entire Command Staff, including the Chief of Police, began their careers at our academy as police recruits and progressed to their current positions. The rank structure and scope of promotions is as follows:
1. Police Officer I: Entry-level status
2. Police Officer Senior: After twelve months of service and having completed the Field Training Officers training period, a police officer is promoted to Police Officer Senior
3. Police Officer Master: Sworn officers that complete specialized training as Field Training Officers and have at least two years of GCPD service as a Police Officer Senior are eligible for automatic promotion to Police Officer Master.
4. Police Officer Corporal:
- Written Examination: A written examination, as defined in Section 330.04, will be administered and scored by the Human Resources Department.
- Phase II (optional): A Phase II written exam or simulation, as defined in Section 330.04, may be administered and scored by the Human Resources Department. Candidates obtaining a passing rating will advance to the Phase III assessment center, or if applicable, eligibility list.
- Phase III Assessment Center (optional): An assessment center, as defined in Section 330.04, may be administered and scored by the Human Resources Department. Candidates shall be assigned to an eligibility list or be deemed ineligible.
5. Police Officer Sergeant: The promotional procedures for Police Sergeant shall be the same as those for Corporal, except the written exam shall be optional at the discretion of the Chief of Police. Officers must have one year of experience as a Corporal prior to participating in the Sergeant promotional process.
6. Police Officer Lieutenant: The promotional procedures for Police Lieutenant shall be the same as those for Police Sergeant. Officers must have one year of experience as a Sergeant prior to participating in the Lieutenant promotional process.
Leadership & Development
The EXCEL Program is a management development program designed especially for Gwinnett County’s current and future management employees that provides structure and support for ongoing professional development.
The program’s name, EXCEL, represents key components of the program’s curriculum:
The objectives of the EXCEL Program are to provide structured support and development to competent and informed leaders, encourage continuous professional growth of management, and develop a pool of managers with skills for senior leadership consideration.
The LEAD Academy was developed to support Gwinnett County supervisors and is customized to form the foundation of management development within Gwinnett County Government. The County’s culture, general expectations, policies, and procedures have all been carefully incorporated into the program’s curriculum. The LEAD Academy was designed to be results-oriented and structured to provide County leaders with practical skills and knowledge to perform their jobs in an efficient, effective, and ethical manner.
The program requires completion of courses over a three-month period in which participants are required to attend one full-day course on a weekly basis.
The program’s name, LEAD, represents key components of the program’s curriculum:
The intended audience for this course is new supervisors and strategic non-supervisory employees.
The purpose of the LEAD Academy is to develop County supervisory personnel with the following objectives:
- Provide high-quality services to Gwinnett County’s diverse customers and employees
- Desire to make a significant leadership contribution to the County and the community
- Motivate employees to achieve superior levels of performance and productivity
- Value lifelong learning and professional development