More than ten percent of the sworn officers with the Georgia Department of Public Safety are not on the job until an administrative hold up with their certification can be worked out.
The department's commander, Col. Mark McDonough, received a letter Tuesday from the Georgia Peace Officers' Standards and Training Council that 121 Georgia State Patrol troopers, Capitol Police, and motor division compliance officers were affected. Documentation was missing for the required training needed for certification.
"This is kind of an administrative flu that we're going to work through very diligently to make sure we've got it right," he tells WSB's Sandra Parrish.
P.O.S.T. director Ken Vance says the problems arose as the agency began transitioning from paper files to a new computer system. He believes some of the names appeared on the list due to a clerical error. Documentation for others may have been lost as they transitioned from one department to another.
Even some officers’ names appeared on the list who have since retired, including the department’s former commander Col. Bill Hitchens.
Since 1988, every law enforcement officer in the state is required to receive 20 hours of training annually to keep their certification.
McDonough says the department will spend the next 48 hours matching up paperwork and tracking down any missed hours. He says in the meantime, those officers affected will not be on active duty.
"We've got a decent employee base, that in the interim... it's not going to impact the commitment we have with patrolling and what we do as traffic enforcement," he says.
Vance says some of those on the list can also ask for a waiver and pay a fee to bring them back into compliance.