2010 Georgia Code
TITLE 15 - COURTS
CHAPTER 16 - SHERIFFS
ARTICLE 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS
§ 15-16-3 - Basic training course; compensation and costs
. Basic training course; compensation and costs
(a) Intent. The General Assembly declares it to be the purpose of this Code section to promote the orderly transfer of the law enforcement power of the several counties of this state in connection with the expiration of the term of office of the sheriff and the taking of office of the newly elected sheriff. The interest of the State of Georgia requires that such transitions in the office of the sheriff be accomplished so as to assure continuity in the conduct of the peace-keeping functions of the several counties of this state. Any disruption occasioned by the transfer of the law enforcement power to a person not properly versed and trained in law enforcement and the operations of the office of sheriff is declared to be detrimental to the safety and well-being of the citizens of the several counties of this state and of the entire state. Accordingly, it is the intent of the General Assembly that appropriate training be required of sheriffs who are newly elected so as to avoid or minimize any disruption in the performance of the duties and responsibilities or the authority of the sheriffs of the several counties of this state. This training shall be generally devoted to contemporary law enforcement, investigation, judicial process, and correction practices and specifically shall be germane to the duties and operational functions of the office of sheriff in the several counties of this state. Further, the purpose of this Code section is to promote professionalism within the office of sheriff by ensuring the highest possible quality of law enforcement training is offered to each sheriff on an annual basis. Accordingly, it is the intent of the General Assembly that appropriate ongoing training be required of all sheriffs. This training shall be generally devoted to contemporary law enforcement, investigation, judicial process, and corrections practices and specifically shall be germane to the duties and operational functions of the office of sheriff in the several counties of this state.
(b) Sheriffs-elect specialized training. Any person elected to the office of sheriff in a county of this state who was not serving as a duly elected or appointed sheriff on or before July 1, 1976, shall enroll in, attend, and successfully complete a course of sheriffs-elect specialized training and instruction established and provided by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association with the assistance of the Georgia Public Safety Training Center. Such course of instruction shall be held every four years at a time to be designated by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association. Any newly elected sheriff who is unable to attend such training course when it is offered because of medical disability or providential cause shall, within one year from the date such disability or cause terminates, complete a course of instruction as determined by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association and approved by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council. Any newly elected sheriff who does not fulfill the obligations of this subsection shall lose his or her power of arrest.
(c) Compensation. A newly elected sheriff who enrolls in and attends a course of training and instruction as described in subsection (b) of this Code section shall be paid compensation for his or her attendance on a weekly basis at the successful completion of each week's training. The compensation shall be paid by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association using funds appropriated by the state for such purpose or from federal funds available for such purpose. The compensation shall be in an amount equal to a proportionate part of the annual salary to be received by the new sheriff of the least populated county in this state for each week spent in attendance at the course of training and instruction. For the purposes of this Code section, five days of training and instruction shall be considered one week.
(d) Costs. The cost of training, housing, travel, and meals appropriate to the course of training and instruction shall be paid by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association from state funds appropriated for such purpose or from federal funds available for such purpose.
(e) Annual training.
(1) From and after July 1, 1997, no person shall be eligible to hold the office of sheriff unless he or she attends a minimum of 20 hours' training annually as may be selected by the Georgia Sheriffs' Association.
(2) The basis for the minimum annual requirement of in-service training shall be the calendar year. Sheriffs who satisfactorily complete the sheriffs-elect specialized training in accordance with the provisions of this Code section after April 1 in any calendar year shall be excused from the minimum annual training requirement for the calendar year during which the sheriffs-elect specialized training course is completed.
(3) A waiver of the requirement of minimum annual in-service training may be granted by the Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council, in its discretion, upon the presentation of evidence by a sheriff that he or she was unable to complete such training due to medical disability, providential cause, or other reason deemed sufficient by the council.
(4) Any person who fails to complete the minimum annual in-service training required under this Code section and who has not received a waiver of such requirement pursuant to paragraph (3) of this subsection shall not perform any of the duties of sheriff involving the power of arrest until such training shall have been successfully completed. In addition, the Governor may suspend from office without pay for a period of 90 days any sheriff who fails to complete the minimum annual in-service training required under this Code section. The probate judge of the county of the sheriff's residence shall appoint a person who meets the qualifications for sheriff pursuant to this Code section to assume the duties and responsibilities of the office of sheriff during any such period of suspension.
Graham Syfert - Jacksonville Lawyer