RINGGOLD – After being selected by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) to launch a first-of-its-kind law enforcement recruiting program in the state, Catoosa County Sheriff Gary Sisk announced the successful completion of the program with several high school students applying to begin law enforcement careers.
The 80-hour Basic Jail Officer Certification course was offered to students at the county’s high schools. Ringgold High School was selected as the host location for the program, with 17 students signed up for the first class in the state of Georgia.
“We launched the program with two goals in mind,” said Sheriff Sisk. “We want to provide a career pathway for graduating seniors and provide the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office with a source of qualified candidates to fill positions in the jail.”
Sheriff Sisk first presented the program at the POST quarterly meeting in July 2022. It was at that meeting when POST approved the plan and selected Catoosa County to host the first class in the state.
By December 2022, students who had signed up completed their paperwork and had their fingerprints and photos taken for their POST applications. On January 9, 2023, Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office certified instructors began teaching the 80-hour course in 90-minute blocks, Monday through Friday, during the entire semester.
On May 12 and 15, Georgia Sheriff’s Association and POST representatives administered the Jail Officer Certification test to the students, with an 86.6% pass rate resulting in four students already applying for positions at the Sheriff’s Office and others giving law enforcement career serious consideration.
“I really appreciate Sheriff Sisk’s innovative jail officer certification program for our high school students,” said Catoosa County Public Schools Superintendent Chance Nix. “Catoosa County Public Schools and the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office have maintained a strong partnership for many years and this program is a great example of that partnership. This is an excellent opportunity for our high school graduates to begin a rewarding career in law enforcement as soon as they graduate from high school.”
With the pilot program’s success, plans are being finalized to continue law enforcement/corrections training with the Catoosa County College and Career Academy that is schedule to open in the Fall 2023 semester. More information about the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office, including application for employment, is available at https://www.catoosacountysheriff.com