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Reinhardt Public Safety Institute to host second graduation of 2016

By Erika Neldner

Reinhardt University’s Public Safety Institute will hold its second police academy graduation ceremony of the year, with special honors for an outgoing advisory board member.

The ceremony will be held Dec. 20 at 7 p.m. at the Falany Performing Arts Center. The ceremony is open to the public.

“More than 70 percent of our second graduating class of 2016 is leaving with employment secured at various law enforcement agencies in the metro area,” said Trey Drawdy, director of Reinhardt University’s Public Safety Institute. Agencies employing the newly minted officers include the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety, Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office, Woodstock Police, Milton Police and Gainesville Police. 

Fourteen officers are expected to graduate as part of Class 16-002, and the officers starting with the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety will be sworn in next Tuesday night.

Those graduating as part of Class 16-002 are: Alex Armstrong, Billie Baker, Joseph Brock, Jenifer Cabrera-Kell, Jason Fields, Jamal Hunter, Bryan Jailall, Reed Janesek, Scott Newbury, De Jeannie Smith, Joey Stafford, Dale Thomas, Christopher Van Heest and James Wilson.

RU Public Safety Institute adjunct professor, John Robison, will give the graduation address. Robison, who has been teaching in the academy since the Public Safety Institute’s inception, is the Powder Springs Police Chief but recently has been appointed as the director for the Alpharetta Department of Public Safety. He begins that position in January.

The ceremony also will serve as a special acknowledgement for a Reinhardt Public Safety Institute Advisory Board Member who has served since the academy’s inception: Gary George. 

“Gary was instrumental in the establishment of basic law enforcement training at Reinhardt University and has always been an advocate for higher education and police professionalism. His leadership, wisdom, and passion for service will be greatly missed,” Drawdy said.

George is retiring from his position as the director of Alpharetta’s Department of Public Safety, the position for which Robison was appointed. 

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