CONWAY SC (WBTW) – Horry-Georgetown Technical College hopes to ease the county’s shortage of police officers with its new police pre-academy training certificate program for newly hired officers.
Candidates for the program will receive training equivalent to the first four weeks of basic law enforcement training at the state criminal justice academy.
Monday was Dean Tamburello’s first day of pre-police academy training, and he hopes to become a police officer for the Horry County Police Department.
“I wanted to be a police officer all my life, helping the community I live in and making sure my children could grow up in a safe place and protect my family,” Tamburello said.
Previously, the first four weeks of basic law enforcement training were all conducted in-house at Conway and Horry county police departments.
Having it at the college reduces the workload for law enforcement training instructors, allowing them to get back on the road.
“As a result, their training instructors can then focus on other training they need to manage throughout the year,” said Dan Wysong, HGTC assistant vice president and dean of academics.
Students complete things like driver orientation and other necessary skills to prepare them for the state academy.
“Domestic violence, there are a multitude of different facets of law enforcement training that they have to go through, that they are tested on and they have to pass a specific test at the end of each of the blocks,” said said Jeffery Scott. , Deputy Chair of the HGTC Criminal Justice Program.
There are five students currently enrolled in total. There are three from the Horry County Police Department and two from Conway.
“Before I wanted to be a policeman, I joined the army for two years so that [helped decide] that’s what I wanted to do in life and I thought it went really well to be a police officer and especially in that field because it’s so diverse,” Tamburello said. “You have so many different things that you’re going to have to deal with on a day-to-day basis.”
College officials said that since April when the program started, 100% of their students have passed the training. As of April, the program has 15 students.
After completing the certificate, applicants can seek employment with a South Carolina city or county law enforcement agency within one year.
After securing employment, the candidate will be sponsored by the state criminal justice academy for the remaining eight weeks of basic law enforcement training.
“To alleviate some of the stress that they were under, in terms of having to get people off the road, going to training areas and training officers, it helps them in that way,” said Scott. “It also helps the student prepare.”
Once the candidate has met other statewide requirements, such as the physical agility course, and completed basic law enforcement training, the candidate will be an officer certified law enforcement in South Carolina.