Friends, family and the community gathered in the Conference Center at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus in Calhoun to honor 15 students graduating from Basic POST Certification Class BPC1-2023-04 on Monday, July 10.
The Basic POST Certification (BPC) program is designed to train and prepare graduates for employment as entry-level Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) certified law enforcement officers. The program is part of GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy.
Guest speaker Lt. Pat Cook of the Walker County Sheriff’s Office advised the graduates that “If you are here for any reason other than service to others, you are in the wrong place.”
Cook explained that the graduates answered the call to help those in need and to protect those who cannot protect themselves. He thanked them for their courage and “stepping forward to be counted.”
Douglas Brown was the student speaker for the ceremony. Alan Lewis was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship, and Guage Franks received the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.
Graduates recited their Oath of Honor at the conclusion of the ceremony, vowing “On my honor, I will never betray my badge, my integrity, my character or the public trust. I will always have the courage to hold myself and others accountable for our actions. I will always uphold the Constitution, my community and the agency I serve.”
Graduates of GNTC’s Basic POST Certification Class BPC1-2023-04 are Douglas Brown, Christopher Cantrell, Sarai Comi Silis, Kenneth Cordell, Jasmine Daniel, Guage Franks, Elijah Frye, Paul Hagood, Colby Harris, Gray Jackson, Kohl Dalton Kadinger, Alan Lewis, Wilber Ramirez, Shelby Stephens and Michael Sumner.
A majority of the graduates are already employed in law enforcement.
Hagood and Ramirez are employed by the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office.
Cantrell is employed by the Murray County Sheriff’s Office.
Stephens and Sumner are employed by the Walker County Sheriff’s Office.
Cordell, Jackson, Kadinger and Lewis are employed by the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.
Franks and Frye are employed by the Ringgold Police Department.
Brown is employed by the Whitfield County Fire Department while Daniel, Harris and Silis are pre-service.