GNTC Basic POST Certification Graduation held March 24

March 31, 2022

Friends, family and the community gathered in the Auditorium at Georgia Northwestern Technical College’s (GNTC) Gordon County Campus to honor nine students graduating from Basic POST Certification Class BPC1 #2022-01 on Thursday, March 24.

The Basic POST Certification (BPC) program is designed to train and prepare graduates for employment as entry-level Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST) certified police officers. The new program is offered in addition to the Basic Law Enforcement program, and both programs are part of GNTC’s Law Enforcement Academy.

“The BPC program is the first of its kind here, and it is only for students that are already employed with a law enforcement agency in a non-certified position, such as jail, communications or other support,” said Gary McConathy, master instructor/coordinator of the Basic Law Enforcement Academy. “ The BCP1 course is the basic course taught by the regional academies.”

"This is the first 408-hour Law Enforcement Certification Course to be conducted at the GNTC Law Enforcement Academy since its creation in 2009,” he said.

The regular basic mandate is 700 hours and takes three semesters to complete, he said.

Braden Smith was the student speaker for the ceremony. Joshua Burchfield was presented with the “Top Gun” award for excellence in marksmanship and the Academic (Honor Graduate) Award for having the highest grade point average.

“This course is nonstop for 11 weeks, and these students excelled in every way,” McConathy said. 

Graduates of GNTC’s Basic POST Certification Class BPC1 #2022-01 are Joshua Burchfield, Stephanie Dillard, Colton Gilreath, Alexander Hall, Vanessa Long, Jonathon McKeehan, Michael Phillips, Braden Smith and Nicholas Woods. 

All nine students were certified and are working as sheriff's deputies: Burchfield and Dillard with the Murray County Sheriff’s Office; Gilreath and Phillips with the Walker County Sheriff's Office; and Hall, Long, McKeehan, Smith and Woods with the Whitfield County Sheriff’s Office.

“In my career I have taught more than 1,000 students,” McConathy said. “These graduates, as a group, are the best students I've ever had. Murray, Walker and Whitfield county citizens are very fortunate to have these men and women serving their communities."

Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma or a certificate in aviation, business, health, industrial or public service career paths. This past year, 11,134 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. GNTC has an annual credit enrollment of 8,528 students and an additional enrollment of 2,606 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training and Georgia Quick Start. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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