In a collaborative effort, the Sheriff's Office, Euharlee, Cartersville and Adairsville police departments have begun field officer training.
"We came up with a training program throughout the county and we did the first joint class in Adairsville," APD Chief Robert Jones said.
Field training is an advanced certification for officers who have been in law enforcement for three years and with their department for two years.
"Basically what a field training officer is, you get a raw recruit from the police academy and those recruits are ready to enforce the laws of the state," Jones said. "But what a field training officer does, it prepares the new raw recruit for the policies and procedures within the police department. The police academy will teach them the laws and somewhat how to enforce the laws, but your field officer training program basically tells you how you will do that within the policies of your department."
Field training, while more advanced, also alleviates pressures on the department employing the officer.
"It relieves some civil and criminal liability off the department having field training officers," Jones said.
Several officers attended the 40-hour class, including four from Adairsville, two from Euharlee, one from Cartersville and several from the Sheriff's Office. Representatives from Towns and Union counties also participated.
"It's a conglomerate of everyone working together in training because we're going to be backing each other up on calls and it's good to know how each one of us are going to react or have some of the same policies in place throughout the county," Jones said. "It's a very good program to have us training side-by-side by our counterparts with the county and our sister cities because we're all law enforcement. We'll all be required to back each other up some time or another and it's a good thing to have the spirit of cooperation with all these agencies."
The session, which was held March 12 through 16, includes classes on civil liability, stress management, supervision of new recruits and rating new recruits on policies and procedures.
"They did well," Jones said of the officers attending. "We took our test to the police academy and everyone passed. It's rigorous. It's not a check-the-box type class. All these agencies sent very high quality candidates to this class and it makes it enjoyable when you teach."
Jones and fellow APD Sgt. Anthony Loveless taught the classes over the five-day span.
Training will continue with the BCSO to host an upcoming session on active shooter situations.
As Adairsville continues to increase their efforts in training, Assistant Police Chief Major Danny Moore attended a session in Duluth provided by the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police. The 60-hour course is required by state law for all newly appointed heads of law enforcement. Moore was appointed the position of Assistant Chief in September 2011. For the Adairsville officer, 20 hours of management/executive level training will be required each year. Kingston's Chief Billy Pickett also attended the training session.