Word spread last week that the highly respected Law Enforcement Academy at Ogeechee Technical College will be closing, but it was not until Monday that the college offered a formal statement on the matter.
OTC issued a press release Monday explaining the closure of the Hagan-based policing program as well as the Geographic Information Systems program. Effective June 30, 2017, both will shutter their doors. The college, by rumor, plans to fill the space of the Evans Technical Education Complex with a mechanics program.
OTC President Lori Durden said in the prepared statement that the Law Enforcement Academy has “operated in the negative” and shows low enrollment numbers. She also said that other providers around the state offer similar training for much less or “for no cost at all” which has made it difficult to compete.
Officially, she said, “This was not a decision made lightly, or reached without considerable thought. It certainly is not something we want to do, but something that we feel we must do to be fiscally responsible for the College.” Durden also thanked those who volunteered with the program over the last seven years.
Interestingly, the tuition for the Ogeechee Tech Law Enforcement Academy is $4,376, per recent application data, for a 15-week program. The Georgia Public Safety Training Center offers an 11-week program for $3,093, with an added $700 in fees on top of the $498 in application and background check fees, bringing the tuition to ~$4,291. The difference? $85.
No facility in Georgia offers “free” training to citizens looking to become officers. The state will essentially be the entity to cover the costs of training for law enforcement agencies who send someone they expect to become a police officer to the GPSTC academy.
AllOnGeorgia has requested the financial documents related to the operational expenditures of the Academy for the last several years as well as documentation related to the closure. Check back soon.
You can read what former students have to say about the program here.