Command College Expands Outreach to Firefighters

COLUMBUS, Ga. - The Georgia Law Enforcement Command College at Columbus State University now is an option for Georgia’s 20,000 firefighting personnel, including volunteers, who are required to complete recertification training every year.

“The Command College’s professional management program is ideal, especially because a lot of fire personnel are full-time employees of public safety departments alongside law enforcement officers and serve in supervisory and managerial roles,” said Britt Brinson, a public safety training manager for the Georgia Firefighter Standards and Training Council.

The training council has approved the college’s curriculum for its supervision and management recertification training — typically 24 course hours each year — for firefighters, fire and safety educators, fire inspectors, fire investigators and airport firefighters.

The move represents one of three new developments that show the Command College broadening its educational and training outreach to the state’s public safety sector.

The college also has been authorized by the Georgia Peace Officers Standards and Training Council to administer a pair of 160-hour law enforcement supervision certificate programs. One certificate is designed for corrections supervisors while the other meets state standards for all other peace officer supervisors (typically sergeants), ranging from state, local and campus patrol officers to personnel of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Department of Natural Resources.

All of the new programs take effect in January as part of the college’s Professional Management Program and mark a new milestone for Columbus State, said Archie Rainey, Command College executive director, who’s guided the college since its 1995 inception as a partnership with the Georgia Association of Chiefs of Police.

“We started with two training priorities: What it takes to be a police chief and what it takes to stay a chief,” Rainey said. “Now, with the firefighters, we’ve incorporated the entire public safety community.”

The college established the undergraduate-level Professional Management Program for agency personnel in various fields in 2000 to complement its graduate-level programs for law enforcement managers and executives and other degree-holding agency managers. Courses are delivered at several off-campus sites and in retreat-style seminars up to four times a year at college headquarters on the Columbus State campus.

For the law enforcement supervisors, completing the certification not only equips them with leading-edge law enforcement knowledge, it also positions them to advance to managerial (captains and lieutenants) and eventually to executive (chiefs) levels, said Georgia POST Council Operations Director Ryan Powell.

Powell’s boss, POST Executive Director Ken Vance, said the Command College at Columbus State has been unmatched in facilitating this career advancement path. “There’s not another program as well run and with courses taught as professionally by experts in the field,” he said. “Officers who finish these programs are supremely prepared to meet the law enforcement challenges of the 21st century.”

For more information about the new certification programs, contact Archie Rainey at 706-568-2190. For more on Command College programs, go to http://command.colstate.edu.