The Training Unit is commanded by Captain Andy Hite. Captain Hite has served with the Cobb County Police Department for 20 years. He has served in various capacities to include, Uniform Patrol, Internal Affairs, SWAT, Special Operations, Organized Crime, VIPER, Precinct Commander, and as Adjutant to the Chief of Police. Captain Hite earned a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from the University of Alabama and is a graduate of the Federal Law Enforcement Training Academy.
Cobb County maintains a strong commitment to providing quality training to our personnel. In order to meet that commitment, the training campus that offers excellent training programs for your career and fitness. The Department of Public Safety Training Center provides training, professional development opportunities and assistance to public safety employees. Training specifically provided to police recruits and sworn police department employees includes basic mandate, recruit indoctrination, field training, leadership/supervision training, defensive tactics, driving, weapons training, physical fitness, in-service training, and advanced training. Most classes are taught on-site in the classroom area of the Training Center, or in one of the specialty areas located on or near the seven-acre campus.
The main building of the DPSTC is a 26,000 square-foot facility shared primarily between the Police and Fire Departments. There are five individual classrooms, which contain tables and chairs for seating for 20-35 students in any one of the classrooms. A retractable wall between two of the classrooms is available when necessary to increase class space. In addition, a sixth classroom contains 14 desktop computer stations (and a printer) for software training. The large auditorium includes a stage area with stadium seating for 160. Modern audiovisual equipment is provided for all classrooms and the auditorium.
Administrative offices for the Police and Fire training staffs, a large break room, bathroom facilities, and storage closets are also part of the main building.
Additionally, the Police specialty training areas include space for two interactive video simulators of police driving and firearms training. A defensive tactics room with padded walls and floors gives students a safe environment to train in self-defense techniques, personal weapons training, handcuffing skills, and gas mask testing. Some defensive tactics techniques, i.e., OC chemical spray training, are practiced outdoors. A new, state-of-the-art driving simulator was installed in early 2011.
The health and fitness center is a 2,700 square foot area that is equipped with state-of-the-art Cybex strength training equipment, free weights, treadmills, stationary bicycles, StairMaster and Versa-Climber. Locker rooms with showers are located across the hall from the fitness room. There are running trails on-site, as well as those located at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which is approximately one mile from the DPSTC. Our training facility is staffed by an exercise physiologist and fitness specialist. The staff is available to provide assistance in developing an individual work out program to prepare recruits for the job. The staff also teaches various wellness classes on an assortment of topics ranging from nutrition to stress management. Training programs are tailored for the individual employee. Fitness incentive programs are offered throughout the year for participants who exemplify physical fitness. As an employee, you will have free access to Cobb County's three aquatic centers for lap and open swimming.
The Weapons Training facility is located on-site and includes a firearms training range. The facility is enclosed on three sides by a combination of a 22-foot dirt berm and/or a chain link fence, and the tower/shelter. The fourth side is enclosed by a 20-foot concrete retaining wall. The range operates 36 electronically controlled targets with a maximum shooting range of 50 yards. The range tower/shelter is approximately 100 feet long and 20 feet wide. The building is fully covered and enclosed on three sides. It houses a control/safety tower, storage room, and two student restrooms. The firing range is utilized by not only Cobb County, but also by other law enforcement agencies in Cobb County, military groups, and the North Central Georgia Law Enforcement Academy. Construction is underway on a live-fire shoot house with its anticipated completion date in late 2011.
The EVOC facility is located off-site approximately 1/2 mile from the DPSTC campus. The driver training area encompasses 10+ acres and includes a separate skid pan area, as well as an asphalt surfaced multi-purpose area. This area allows for it to be used in several configurations such as a precision (cone) course, as well as an area that can be used for PIT training, traffic stops, and other law enforcement-related driver training. Located between the skid pan and multi-purpose areas is an administrative building that includes an office area, restrooms, and storage space for facility equipment such as cones, protective equipment, etc. In this same area is a paved surface that connects the skid pan and multi-purpose areas, which includes a traffic signal and marked lane area that is used for controlled braking and other exercises.
The Training Division of the Cobb County Police Department consists of four sections: mandate training, weapons training, field training and advanced training.
The mandate training section administers two police recruit schools each calendar year. The recruit training session is non-residential but is conducted in a paramilitary style of discipline, with high performance and conduct standards. The expanded basic course consists of about 23 weeks of training, which includes scenario/practical exercise days. These hours are far and above the state requirement of 408 hours. Recruits are challenged academically, physically, and mentally on a daily basis. Recruits are required to participate in a rigorous fitness program intended to develop the cardiovascular, muscular and mental strength. Students will be trained with the latest tactics and equipment by some of the most proficient instructors and subject matter experts in the state. In order to graduate, recruits will have to pass multiple academic and practical tests in a variety of police science topics. After the academy, recruit officers are trained by a field training officer for about 14 weeks. The new police officer will be prepared to meet all challenges while serving the Cobb County community with pride and professionalism.
The weapons training sections instructs all officers in firearms, chemical, less lethal, and other such weapon usage and certification. Each officer spends at least two days a year in firearms training.
The field training section is responsible to monitor, tutor, and assist all recruits, once they graduate mandate training. This section also recruits, evaluates, and trains all field training officers.
The advanced training section is responsible for all incumbent officers’ training. The staff provides at least 32 hours of annual training each calendar year so that officers can work towards the POST required 20 hours of training and the additional 20 hours required by Departmental policy. The unit also sponsors training provided by outside vendors that is generally available to officers from across the country.
The Training staff consists of 13 sworn officers and three civilians. It draws instructional expertise from through out the Police Departments and other various disciplines. Approximately 150 officers and other instructors contribute by teaching students at the academy each year.