Law officers' convention is no 'trip to the beach'

By Dal Cannady - bio | email

JEKYLL ISLAND, GA (WTOC) - James Presley of the Gwinett County Police Department spent a few minutes with his son Trace at the Peace Officers of Georgia (POAG) convention at Jekyll Island. He said officers from around the state prefer a week here over a week at the state academy in Forsyth.

"They can come here, get their 20 hours of training, meet officers from all over the state of Georgia, find out new ways of doing things," he explained.

His wife Jennifer, an officer with the Suwanne Police Department, agrees.

"You can get a lot of intel just at lunch hanging out in between classes and learn so much from veteran law officers," she noted.

Officers, deputies and others who wear a badge can take classes on a host of topics to keep their accreditation.

The POAG also took time to recognize troopers who have saved lives on the road and DNR rangers who have done the same on the water. Between meetings, officers get to know each other no matter what uniform they wear.

"This is the one that brings everybody together in a common setting with a common goal," stated Georgia State Patrol Maj. Mark McDonough.

McDonough said it gives officers an education in crimes beyond their jurisdiction.

"I had no idea until this week Georgia has more boats stolen than any other state. On the highway, troopers see boats on trailers all the time and we might not give the boat as much attention as the car or trailer pulling it. Now, some of us are more likely to look twice and know what to look for."

The convention also serves as a reunion for retired officers.

"Us old folks get to tell how things used to be and the young ones appreciate listening," explained John Conley, the POAG's secretary treasurer and a retired Georgia state trooper.

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