So You Wanna Be a Cop?

Learning to load and shoot weapons with one hand, investigate crime scenes, conduct traffic stops and mastering hand-to-hand combat and shooting simulators are not part of most school curriculums. At the Georgia Public Safety Training Center in Garden City, structure, discipline and teamwork replace the three “R’s” of traditional higher education. The only facility in the state built specifically for police training, the GPSTC hosts cadets from all over the region.

Cadets come from a variety backgrounds but all have the passion to make it through. “Every person sitting in that room down the hall will make a difference and help their community,” says Maj. Harlan Proveaux, manager at the GPSTC. After a year-long program, the cadets will be patrolling on their own, with continued training by the agencies that hire them. Writer Rhianna Van Helton spends a day as a cadet-in-training and discovers that split-second decisions can mean life or death for these future officers. For the whole story, pick up a copy of the August/September issue of South magazine