The members of the Valdosta Police Department are offered state-of-the-art, meaningful and effective training each year. The Training Division is responsible for post-basic and field training programs, advanced officer training, continuing training, and specialized programs including the Tactical Operations Unit and Citizens Police Academy.
Topics range from fundamentals to contemporary issues facing law enforcement. Lessons are delivered through a variety of mediums, from the traditional lecture in a classroom setting, to the latest in proficiency skills in terms of driving and firearm live-action and simulators. Classes are intended to support the department's policing strategies, and/or reinforce the department's policies and procedures. Mandatory and supplemental training is provided to department personnel to develop and enhance those skills and decision-making abilities necessary for the successful delivery of services.
The Training Division has targeted specific courses to be taught monthly by the Department's instructors. The majority of instruction comes from those subject matter experts currently employed by the Valdosta Police Department. By using "in-house" instructors, we increase the amount of training opportunities made available to department members. Instructors may be experts in their field from outside the agency as well, when the Valdosta Police Department hosts classes from nationally recognized training resources.
The Training Division is responsible for maintaining officers' individual training records certification standards, course completion files and other documents associated with the training function. The Training staff participate in the Department's hiring process and facilitate the Field Training and Evaluation Program for new officers. The Training Division also researches and purchases new equipment and uniform items in addition to warehousing reserve inventory supplies.
Newly employed certified officers attend the Department’s Recruit School Course (120 hours). Each Recruit School consists of orientation and introductory classes to familiarize each new officer with his/her new duties. Classes include, but are not limited to, criminal and vehicle law, sexual harassment, use of force, defensive tactics, and firearms training, along with learning police department General Orders.
Veteran officers and personnel also receive training through Advanced Officer Training (AOT) on an array of topics including: Less Lethal Munitions, AR-15 (patrol rifle), F.A.T.S. system (electronic firearms "shoot-don't shoot" simulator), C.P.R./Automated External Defibrillator (AED), Confrontational Simulation-use of force decision based skills, Hazmat-Anthrax and CBRN, Immediate response to a Active Shooter (within a school setting) situation, Defensive Tactics & Handcuffing, PR-24 Baton, O.C. Spray, Radar/Laser, TASER (CEW) and K-9 familiarization, just to name a few.