HGTC Approves Police Pre-Academy Training Certificate
New Partnership Addresses Workforce Shortage and Enhances Policing Profession.
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce an exciting new partnership with the SC Criminal Justice Academy that provides an alternate career pathway for entering the field of law enforcement. The program is designed to address the state’s workforce shortage and enhance the policing profession overall. With the aid of the Lottery Tuition Assistance program and the SC WINS Scholarship, tuition for the new pathway will be mostly covered for participating students.
The Police Pre-Academy Certificate Degree is an outstanding partnership with the SC Criminal Justice Academy to educate and train the next generation of law enforcement officers locally. This is the first step in providing stronger academic candidates, expediting the time for academy completion, and reducing the bottleneck for entering the workforce.
“The original Pre-Academy training that started in 2019 was a coordinated effort with the Horry County Police Department and was highly successful. The training will be the foundation of the new certificate program,” said Dr. Dan Wysong.
The new Police Pre-Academy Training Certificate Degree provides a simple path to becoming a law enforcement officer in South Carolina. Candidates can either be sponsored by a law enforcement department/agency newly as a hired police officer/deputy or a student interested in pursuing a law enforcement career. Candidates first apply to HGTC and complete the approximately14-week certificate program. The certificate is based on four college-level courses involving basic and introductory law enforcement training, tactics, and procedures during the program. The 12 credit hours earned from the certificate can be applied to the 66 credits required to earn an associate degree in Criminal Justice should candidates decide to further their studies.
“We have a good relationship and reputation with all law enforcement agencies. HGTC is happy to take the initiative and provide better prepared officers that ultimately become better officers for our local community,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President.
Next, graduates must secure employment with a South Carolina law enforcement agency within one year of graduation. Once employment is secured, candidates must pass a cumulative exam and physical assessment test administered by the SC Criminal Justice Academy. If candidates pass the exam and physical assessment test, they will be assigned to an academy class to complete eight weeks of training at the Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia.
Once these steps are complete, candidates are ready to begin their career as certified law enforcement officers in South Carolina.
“Police departments, like many organizations, are experiencing a workforce shortage,” said SC Criminal Justice Academy Director Jackie Swindler. “This partnership will help address that shortage by providing an additional career pathway while at the same time ensuring our police officers continue to receive high-quality instruction and training benefiting both the police force and the communities served.”
Criminal Justice professors at HGTC are former or current law enforcement officers who served as patrol officers, investigators, command staff, and/or training officers who hold graduate degrees in criminal justice.
For more information about the HGTC Criminal Justice Program, please contact Jeff Scott at (843) 349-7140, Larry Muncey at (843) 349-3648, or Dr. Dan Wysong at (843) 349-5326.