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Chapter 464-3 OFFICER CERTIFICATION

Rule 464-3-.01 Application for Certification

Every person required or permitted to be certified shall make application on forms furnished by the Council, and in connection therewith shall, under oath, answer all questions, supply all information, and furnish all certificates, affidavits, waivers to obtain information and other supporting data as required. The written application for certification shall be a permanent record which the officer must maintain current. The application for certification shall be valid for only eighteen (18) months from date of application. Should the applicant not be certified within said period, the applicant will be required to make a new application and in connection therewith; shall answer all questions, supply all information, and furnish all certificates, affidavits, and other supporting data as required. An application for certification shall be on file with the Council prior to the applicant's employment or appointment as an officer. Any untrue, misleading or omitted statement contained in any such application shall be cause for denial, and if any registration has been granted, it shall be cause for the revocation of same.

Rule 464-3-.02 Qualifications for Certification: Pre-Employment Requirements

(1) When initially accepted for employment or appointment by a law enforcement unit or communications agency, any candidate seeking certification under these Rules shall:
(a) Be at least eighteen (18) years of age as evidenced by a certified copy of said candidate's birth certificate or other proof of birth acceptable to the Council.
(b) Be a citizen of the United States or a repatriated or naturalized citizen of the United States as of the date employment commences as evidenced by a certified copy of said candidate's birth certificate or other certified proof of citizenship acceptable to the Council.
(c) Have a high school diploma or its recognized equivalent or an approved college degree indicating successful completion of high school. A recognized equivalent means a diploma awarded by any state on the basis of a General Education Development (GED) Test. If an applicant for certification is unable to document that the high school diploma was issued by an accredited school, successful completion of an examination provided or approved by the Council shall suffice. Documented non-accredited schools are not applicable under this rule.
(d) Complete two (2) applicant fingerprint cards prior to commencement of employment as a peace officer in a law enforcement unit. All fingerprint cards shall be processed by the Georgia Crime Information Center (GCIC) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) and the results returned to the Council.
(e) Be found, after examination by a licensed physician or surgeon, to be free from any physical, emotional, or mental conditions which might adversely affect his/her exercising the powers or duties of a peace officer. Refer to POST Rule 464-3-.14 for additional requirements for law enforcement officers.
(f) Successfully complete a job-related academy entrance examination approved by the Council in conformity with state and federal law (where applicable).
(g) Not have been convicted by any state or by the federal government of any crime the punishment for which could have been imprisonment in the federal or state prison or institution nor have been convicted of sufficient misdemeanors to establish a pattern of disregard for the law, provided that, for purposes of this paragraph, violations of traffic laws and other offenses involving the operation of motor vehicles when the applicant has received a pardon shall not be considered.
(h) Possess good moral character as determined by investigation under procedure established by the Council.

Rule 464-3-.03 Qualifications for Certification, Training Requirements

No candidate shall be certified under theseRules unless and until the school director of the school where said candidate has satisfactorily completed the basic course established in accordance with these Rules, shall have submitted verification in such form as the Council may require, that the candidate has met the training requirements set forth in this Chapter.

Rule 464-3-.04 Applications to be Permanent Records: Responsibility to Keep Current

All certification applications under these Rules shall be a permanent record. Should any change occur after certification that would require a different answer to any question in the application, to include change of address, or any supporting document that is made as part of the application, such change must be reported, by the officer, as an amendment to the application within thirty (30) days of the date of the occurrence of such change. Hiring, promotions, termination of employment and other changes in the employment status of a certified officer is the responsibility of the agency to report within fifteen (15) days of the occurrence of such change in status.

Rule 464-3-.05 Notification of Disciplinary Action

Any applicant/ candidate for certification or person certified pursuant to O.C.G.A. Title 35, Chapter 8, who has disciplinary action taken against him/ her by any agency, organ, or department of this State, a subdivision or municipality thereof, or federal, shall notify the Council within fifteen (15) days of said action. For purposes of the fifteen (15) day time limit, evidence that notification was mailed within fifteen (15) days shall be sufficient. Disciplinary action as used herein means any action taken by any municipal, county, state or federal agency against a certified officer, which meet any of the following criteria:

(a) arrest by local, state, or federal authorities;
(b) suspensions, in totality, of thirty (30) days or longer for singular incidents of misconduct, demotions (other than for administrative purposes), termination by employing agency, or resignations in lieu of terminations;
(c) indictments or presentments in any local, state or federal courts;
(d) conviction or bond forfeiture, in any local, state or federal court. The term "conviction" shall include a finding or verdict of guilt, plea of guilty, or a plea of nolo contendere, regardless of whether the adjudication of guilt or sentence is withheld or not entered thereon;
(e) minor traffic citations written to a certified officer need not be reported to the Council.

Rule 464-3-.06 Notification Required by Employing Agency

(a) Employing agencies suspending for thirty (30) days or longer, demoting (other than for administrative purposes), discharging an applicant/candidate for certification or certified officers for disciplinary reasons or accepting resignations in lieu of termination shall inform the Council in writing within fifteen (15) days of such action and records concerning the disciplinary action shall be made available to an investigator with POST Council.
(b) Employing agencies shall inform the Council in writing within fifteen (15) days of any change of status in an officer's employment to include: hiring, resignation, change of home address, legal name change, promotion, administrative demotion, and education level.
(c) Employing agencies shall inform the Council in writing within fifteen (15) days of any applicant/candidate for certification or certified officer arrest.

Rule 464-3-.07 Inquiries to Determine Compliance

The Council shall have the authority to initiate inquiries to determine compliance with the Peace Officer Standards and Training Act by an individual officer or employing agency of State and local government. The officer's waiver signed upon application shall authorize the Council to obtain documents and other information necessary for the inquiry.

Rule 464-3-.08 Notification of Disciplinary Action

The Council shall notify all officers by mail or hand delivery of any disciplinary action or a hearing to determine if disciplinary action is appropriate. For purposes of notification, mailing by delivery confirmation or certified mail to the last address specified on the application or the last known address of the officer shall constitute proper service.

Rule 464-3-.09 Notification of Long Term Medical Disability

(a) Employing agencies receiving notice of a change in the medical condition, for other than a short-term condition, of any applicant, candidate for certification, or person certified that prohibits the applicant, candidate, or officer from performing required duties, shall inform the Council in writing within ten (10) days of such action. As used in this section, the term short-term condition means a medical condition which, in the judgement of a licensed physician, surgeon or doctor of optometry, expressed in writing, will not persist for more than 180 days, or such other period as may be specified by the Council, in its' judgement.
(b) Any applicant, candidate, or person certified, pursuant to O.C.G.A. Title 35, Chapter 8, who has a change in medical condition, on or after the effective date of this rule, for other than a short-term condition, and is terminated, voluntarily resigns, resigns in lieu of dismissal, demoted, suspended, or retires as the result of a change in medical condition which prohibits the applicant, candidate, or officer from performing required duties shall notify the Council in writing within fifteen (15) days of such action.
(c) A change in medical condition shall cause a review of the applicant, candidate, or officer's certification status by the Council as provided in O.C.G.A. § 35-8-7.1(a)(10). If, as a result of this review, the Council determines that the applicant, candidate or officer is believed to be unable to perform the duties of an officer with reasonable skill and safety to citizens due to this change in medical status, the Council may take action as provided in O.C.G.A. § 35-8-7.1(b)(1).
(d) The affected applicant, candidate, or officer shall be notified via certified mail of the Council's action and of the affected party's right to request a hearing as provided in Section 464-8 as amended of P.O.S.T. Council Rules.
(e) The employing agency of the affected applicant, candidate, or officer shall also be notified of Council's action by forwarding a copy of the notice to the employing agency via U.S. Mail.
(f) If the affected applicant, candidate, or officer fails to request a hearing as provided in P.O.S.T. Rules, the decision of the Council shall become final.

Rule 464-3-.10 Notification of Officer Arrest

Agencies arresting an applicant/candidate for certification or certified officer shall inform the Council in writing within fifteen (15) days of said arrest and records concerning the arrest shall be made available to an investigator with POST Council. Arrests shall include, arrest by local, state, or federal authorities; or indictments of presentments in any local, state or federal court. Minor traffic citations written to a certified officer need not be reported to the Council.

Rule 464-3-.11 Officer Recertification

(a) All peace officers certified after January 1, 2012, shall be required to apply for recertification every four (4) years from initial date of certification.
(b) all applications for recertification shall be due on the last day of the month of certification and may be submitted up to ninety (90) days prior to the scheduled recertification date.
(c) applications for recertification shall be submitted on forms approved by the Council.
(d) failure to comply with this rule shall result in the officer's certification expiring and authorization to serve as a peace officer in the State of Georgia suspended until such time as officer meets requirements, established by the Council, for recertification.
(e) officer recertification shall not be used in lieu of a petition for reinstatement of certification or reconsideration of application.

Rule 464-3-.12 Requirements for Retired Law Enforcement Credentials Issued in Accordance with OCGA 16-11-130(c)(2)(E)

(1) A person who is a citizen of this state; and
(2) Has retired with at least ten years of aggregate service as a law enforcement officer with powers of arrest under the laws of any state of the United States or of the United States; and
(3) Separated from service in good standing.
(a) Good standing shall be defined as not being subject to any suspension or revocation to practice as a law enforcement officer.
(b) If the applicant for retired credentials served as an officer in another state(s) or the United States, documentation of good standing shall be required from the state(s) where the applicant was employed as a law enforcement officer or the United States.
(c) Each applicant shall document eligibility to possess a firearm by providing a copy of a valid Georgia Weapons Carry Permit.
(4) Each applicant must provide, with the application for retired credentials, one photograph that complies with a US Department of State passport photo; and
(5) all documents must be submitted on forms approved by Council.

Rule 464-3-.13 Officer Code of Conduct Agreement

(1) Effective January 1, 2021, any officer actively employed as a peace officer, communications officer or jail officer must submit an Officer Code of Conduct Agreement on forms approved by Council.

Rule 464-3-.14 Law Enforcement Officer Psychological Affidavit

When initially accepted for employment or appointment as a law enforcement officer, any candidate seeking certification under these Rules shall:

(1) Be found, after examination by a licensed psychiatrist, or psychologist to be free from any emotional, or mental conditions which might adversely affect his/her exercising the powers or duties of a peace officer; and
(2) Each agency must submit an affidavit acknowledging that a psychological evaluation to determine suitability as a law enforcement officer was conducted on each application for certification, on forms approved by Council; or
(3) Each academy director must submit an affidavit acknowledging that a psychological evaluation to determine suitability as a law enforcement officer was conducted on each pre-service applicant for certification, on forms approved by Council.

Rule 464-3-.15 Voluntary Surrender of Certification

An officer may voluntarily surrender any POST certification they have been issued. Any surrendered certification shall be deemed equivalent to a revocation.