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FDTC to Offer PPAT Certificate for Law Enforcement

FLORENCE, S.C. (May 24, 2021) – Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC) will offer a Police Pre-Academy (PPAT) Training Certificate to local law enforcement thanks to a newly formed partnership between the SC Technical College System and the SC Criminal Justice Academy (SCCJA).

The 14-week certificate program will consist of four classes that are a total of 12 credit hours. Candidates will be individuals who aspire to be employed as law enforcement officers in the state of South Carolina. To be accepted into the program, candidates must be a U.S. citizen, have a high school diploma or equivalency, successfully pass a criminal background check and be at least 20-years-old. The PPAT Certificate does not qualify for federal financial aid, but it does qualify for Lottery Tuition Assistance (LTA) and the South Carolina Workforce Industry Needs (SCWINS) scholarship.

“This is an excellent opportunity for the Criminal Justice Department of Florence Darlington Technical College,” said FDTC Director of Criminal Justice Technology, Sharon Sheehy. “This certificate will not only be an asset to our local departments but also provide potential candidates with quality training as they pursue a career in law enforcement."

The PPAT Certificate classes will be held on FDTC’s main campus and will be taught by FDTC instructors. The credit hours can be applied to a 66-credit hour associates degree. Candidates will learn basic and introductory law enforcement training as well as tactics and procedures. The classes include CRJ Police Science 281, CRJ Police Science II, CRJ 283 Police Science III and CRJ 284 Police Science IV.

CRJ 281: Police Science I

Course topics include but are not limited to: Intro to Criminal Law, Courts, Crimes, and Procedures, First Amend., Basic Patrol Operations, & Traffic Law.

CRJ 282: Police Science II

Course topics include but are not limited to: Domestic Violence, Juv. Procedures, & Victimology.

CRJ 283: Police Science III

Course topics include but are not limited to: Report Writing, Interviewing, Officer Survival, Drug Enforcement, and Crime Scene & Physical Evidence.

CRJ 284: Police Science IV

Course topics include but are not limited to: Basic Collision Investigation, Uniform Traffic Ticket, Vehicle Tactics, and Mind Armor.

After successfully completing the program, candidates will have a year to be hired by a law enforcement agency and attend the academy. Once candidates are hired, they will then pass a cumulative exam and a physical assessment test through the SCCJA, and then they will spend eight weeks at the SCCJA in Columbia before becoming a certified law enforcement officer.

The PPAT Certificate features an array of benefits, but most notably, it increases pre-academy structure from four weeks to 14 weeks, and it also increases SC Basic Law Enforcement (BLE) training from 12 weeks to 22 weeks, which is aligned with national training standards. The PPAT Certificate relieves financial, personnel and resource strains on local agencies and provides an increased pre-certified pool of candidates.

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