News Release

For media information, contact:
Zaundra Brown
Director of Public Relations and Information
404.297.9522, ext. 1757



DeKalb County - September 05, 2017

Georgia Piedmont Technical College Law Enforcement Academy (GPTCLEA) achieves their first reaccreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA).  In 2014 GPTCLEA became the first law enforcement training academy in the State of Georgia to attain an International accreditation from CALEA.  On July 29th in Providence, Rhode Island, CALEA granted the Law Enforcement Academy their first reaccreditation.  GPTCLEA continues to be the only training academy in the State that holds a CALEA accreditation.

According to the director of Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Law Enforcement Academy, Major Harry McCann, this is a significant achievement.  “It shows that we are doing what our policies and procedures say we should be doing when it comes to the best practices of running a law enforcement academy.”

In January 2009 Georgia Piedmont Technical College, known at the time as DeKalb Technical College, began their first Law Enforcement Academy class as part of a pilot program with five other technical colleges.  This program was an agreement between the Technical College System of Georgia and the Peace Officer Standards and Training Council (POST).  The idea was to raise the training standards for new officers coming into the profession.  The minimum standard for new officers was a mandate class consisting of 408 hours of instruction.  The technical college mandate was to go above and beyond that minimum by requiring 700 hours of training.  This training not only included the technical side of policing, but also focused heavily on the academia/critical thinking aspect as well.  In 2011 POST placed the Technical College Academies in a permanent status.

In 2012 the staff at GPTCLEA began to focus on raising the standard even higher.  Steps were taken to have the GPTCLEA internationally accredited through CALEA.  CALEA was started in 1979 and is considered the gold standard in public safety.  It was derived through the joint effort of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP), National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), National Sheriff’s Association (NSA), and the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF).  More information can be found at

In 2012 GPTCLEA began creating and realigning policies and procedures that would meet CALEA standards.  In April of 2014 CALEA sent personnel to evaluate the policies, procedures and practices of the Academy to make sure they supported those standards.  “Those standards are extremely important as they represent the best practices that have been created at a national level.” McCann said.  “This is not just one person or even one administration that is dictating how things should be done, but a nationwide collaboration on how to do things the best way possible.” He added. To maintain its accreditation, GPTCLEA must undergo a rigorous review and approval process. CALEA sent another team of assessors in to Newton County Georgia to reassess.  .  These assessors came from Missouri and New York and have no affiliation with the Academy or anyone in the college.  Their main goal is to determine whether or not the Academy continues to follow the rules and guidelines that were set out by CALEA.  They do this by sifting through files, observing in-progress activity, touring facilities, and interviewing students, graduates, instructors, and department personnel that have hired academy graduates.

On July 29, Major McCann and the Academy Accreditation manager, Mrs. Karen Carter, sat before CALEA Commissioners in Providence, Rhode Island, to answer questions and provide explanations about operations at the Academy.  There were approximately 100 agencies in attendance that had made application for accreditation.  These agencies sat before five different committees, separated by regions of the US and World, answering questions pertaining to their law enforcement academies. .  Some agencies were recommended for approval outright, others had conditions tied to the accreditations.  However, GPTCLEA had no issues during their onsite assessment in April, answered the Committee’s questions to their satisfaction, and was ultimately awarded their first reaccreditation. 
“I am very proud of the job done by the instructors here at the Law Enforcement Academy as well as Mrs. Carter as the accreditation manager,” McCann said.  “This is a completely voluntary process, but even so, it’s not easy to potentially have someone come into your house and tell you that you are doing things wrong. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.” McCann said.  “We were given suggestions and ideas on how to make improvements on an already excellent program, how to continue ensuring the graduates from this Academy will continue to be the best.”  McCann added.  “I live in this area.  I want to know that graduates from this academy know how treat my community with respect and fairness.”

GPTCLEA runs three academies a year starting in January, May and August.  For more information contact them at 404-297-9522 ext. 5046.


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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.