Georgia Public Safety Training Center Celebrates 30 Years

Georgia Public Safety Training Center Celebrates 30 Years

Established by the Georgia Legislature in 1980, the Georgia Public Safety Training Center (GPSTC) has been training the public safety community longer than any other institution in Georgia. This July marked 30 years since training commenced on the campus of Georgia’s premier state-of-the art training facility.

In 1988, the first fiscal year a student population was recorded, the training center documented just shy of 16,000 students visiting the campus; this encompassed all public safety throughout the state of Georgia. In fiscal year 2017, which recently concluded, just over 200,000 students received training through the center by means of on-campus and/or online instruction. The GPSTC has experienced a significant increase in student population, and the growth continues daily. “What that equates to is that we have a better-trained public safety force, which means a safer Georgia,” says GPSTC Director Chris Wigginton.

Today GPSTC is proud to be in its 31st year of training those who serve others. GPSTC remains Georgia’s premier training facility for all state and local public safety-related units of government, including law enforcement, 9-1-1 communications, corrections, Department of Community Supervision, fire, emergency medical, emergency management, coroners, prosecutors, investigators and GPSTC resident agencies. The center anticipates and welcomes the continuous growth of relationships and alliances not only within Georgia but across the nation; improving the level of professionalism and offering state-of-the-art training for the public safety community will ultimately result in the utmost professional public service to all. “It is very exciting to witness the continuous growth of the training center,” says Wigginton, “and I look forward to the day GPSTC is not only the premier training facility for Georgia but for the entire nation.”

In July the Training Center held a celebration commemorating 30 years of training those who serve and protect Georgia citizens. The celebration was held at the GPSTC’s main campus in Forsyth. The event attracted public safety personnel from across the state and vendors from across the country. The day’s events began with a motorcycle rodeo, where officers demonstrated the skills of handling and maneuvering police motorcycles through a comprehensive cone course. Following the rodeo was a ribbon-cutting ceremony to inaugurate the official opening of an expanded Emergency Vehicle Operations Course (EVOC) driver training track. Gov. Nathan Deal and Attorney General Chris Carr attended and were the first to take a lap on the new course.

Other activities included the center’s individual academies showcasing the different areas of specialized training they provide. These were exhibited through live demonstrations across the campus that included live fire-suppression scenarios; a vehicle versus a structure on fire with persons trapped and a flowing fuel fire provided by the Georgia Fire Academy; a high-speed vehicle pursuit resulting in the use of the precision immobilization technique (PIT maneuver); a live firearms demonstration by the Georgia Police Academy that focused on shooting while on the move; and two live explosive demonstrations provided by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. The demonstrations were a popular attraction that allowed attendees to view other areas of training that might be outside their actual career field or job discipline.

The GPSTC Conference Center was filled with a variety of public safety vendors displaying everything from equipment to footwear to vehicles to drones. Just walking through the exhibition venue, one could feel the excitement as the Training Center bustled with various activities. Several state law enforcement agencies were on hand as well, showcasing their equipment and abilities to protect citizens.

The Georgia Public Safety Training Center is dedicated to promoting professionalism and professional growth in the public safety community and thanks all who support it. GPSTC looks forward to another 30 years of training the professionals of our public safety communities in Georgia and across the country.

John E. Hutcheson and Sabrina E. Kimbrell are public information officers for the GPSTC. Reach them at jhutcheson@gpstc.org and skimbrell@gpstc.org respectively.

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