News Release

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Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757


DeKalb Tech Celebrates Law Enforcement Academy Class of 2011-008 Graduates

August 23, 2011

DeKalb Technical College honored 12 Law Enforcement Academy recruits at a well-attended commencement ceremony on Friday, August 19, 2011 at 6:30 p.m. at the Newton Center Conference Room located at 8100 Bob Williams Parkway, Covington, GA. Georgia Supreme Court Justice Harold D. Melton served as the guest speaker for the occasion.
Justice Melton offered words of encouragement to the graduates, and presented two main points as the core of his speech: "Yours is a noble calling" and "Be noble, for your calling is noble." He expressed, "Sometimes it’s not what you do that provides a sense of security; sometimes it’s just your presence that speaks safety and gives comfort." Justice Melton continued, "Your profession is only for certain people. You will wear many hats as a law enforcement officer. Your tools are many, but no tool will be greater than what is in your heart and in your head."

LEA Grads 2011-008

Following Justice Melton’s commencement speech, Deputy Paul Williams proudly, and humorously at appropriate times, addressed the guests on behalf of his graduating class. "Our journey began 17 weeks ago, and from that time until this very moment we, as a class, have grown together. We’ve laughed together, we’ve cried together, we’ve bled together, we’ve prayed together, and because of that we’ve made it through this together." He continued, "We came in as individuals, but have become family." During his speech, Deputy Melton asked, "What is worth defending? What is worth dying for? What is worth living for? Was it worth it?" He answered, "Yes it was! We’re stronger, we’re wiser, we’re so much better than we were when we started; we’re ready for the job at hand."

Beverly Thomas, Law Enforcement Academy Director, acknowledged the many supportive family members, friends, Law Enforcement Academy instructors and former graduates present at the commencement ceremony, and she communicated her wish for the graduates. "The graduates worked hard for what they are obtaining here, and it is not an easy job to do. It takes a lot of training and education. Hopefully, the most important lesson we have given the graduates is that they need to learn more. Training and education in this field is so important, and I hope they leave here with that understanding." The Law Enforcement Academy presents two awards to two deserving recruits in every graduating class. Michael Breaux, Jr. received the Academic Award for the highest overall grade point average, and John Parker received the Top Gun Award for the highest overall shooting average on the firing range.

The Law Enforcement Academy is a fulltime, 17 week, paramilitary structured program designed to increase the training, knowledge, and understanding of the complex issues regarding law enforcement today. Recruits completing this program will gain, in addition to their P.O.S.T Basic Law Enforcement certification, 59 college credits towards an associate’s degree in criminal justice. The Law Enforcement Academy is one of the State’s first P.O.S.T certified Basic Mandate programs on a college campus with college credit.

DeKalb Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia, promotes a student-centered environment for lifelong learning and development, encompassing academic and technical education for employment in a global community. The college has eight centers of learning in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale, and Morgan counties. Established in 1961, DeKalb Technical College currently has more than 4,000 students enrolled in diploma or degree programs and more than 9,000 in adult education classes. Academic and technical programs at DeKalb Tech cover more than 100 different occupations. For more information visit our website at

Photo - Law Enforcement Academy graduating of class of 2011-008
Top row (left to right): Michael Morris, Michael Murphy, James Sanders, Jr., William Knight, Jr.
Middle row (left to right): Chase Pate, Terrance Graham, John Parker, Bernard Hill
Bottom row (left to right): Paul Williams, Michael Breaux, Jr. Althea Howard, Anthony Bird

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About Georgia Piedmont Technical College
Established in 1961, Georgia Piedmont Technical College (GPTC) is one of the top technical colleges in Georgia. As a student-centered institution, GPTC prepares individuals with the skills necessary to succeed in a rapidly changing, global economy. In August 2016, Georgia Piedmont was ranked among the top ten technical colleges in terms of enrollment by the Atlanta Business Chronicle. GPTC’s graduation rate is more than 74.3 percent, and its graduates secure employment at a level resulting in a 98.7 percent placement rate. With nearly 4,000 students, Georgia Piedmont’s adult education program is among the largest in the state. The college has 12 learning centers in DeKalb, Newton, Rockdale and Morgan counties. As set forth in its student catalog, Georgia Piedmont Technical College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, national or ethnic origin, sex, religion, disability, age, political affiliation or belief, genetic information, veteran status, or citizenship status (except in those special circumstances permitted or mandated by law). Contact Lisa Peters, the ADA Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1154, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-170; or Dr. Debra Gordon, the Title IX Coordinator, at 404/297-9522, ext. 1176, or at the main DeKalb campus, 495 N. Indian Creek Drive, Clarkston, GA 30021 Room A-103 for assistance. For more information about our graduation rates and other important program information, please visit our website at

A unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.