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The traditional police academy twelve-week model is the subject of reform debate, cited as an inadequate model of training which lacks sufficient education on modern-day policing. In response, University of North Georgia’s Public Safety Academy (PSA) was founded in 2015. The PSA exists as the United States’ first-ever, four-year police academy where individuals earn police certification concurrent with a Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree. Now in its seventh year, the PSA stands as a trailblazer for a new age of police training. However, the PSA recognizes a new challenge, unencountered by traditional academies: a pattern in withdrawal rates during the first two years of PSA membership. Whereas traditional academies are completed over twelve weeks, the PSA extends over four years with the majority of hands-on training in year three. As the PSA is the first academy of its kind, no established research exists on identifying and improving attrition rates during the first two membership years. This research project seeks to establish research data on PSA voluntary withdrawal rates through collection of survey responses, and methods for retaining current members over an extended period. Furthermore, it forms the basis of a continuing project and future steps. The PSA pilot will not stand alone forever; since inception, police and universities across the U.S. have reached out, looking to begin four-year police academies themselves. By studying this ground-breaking model and making suggestions for incremental improvements to address attrition, foundations will be laid for others to follow and create a new era of police training.


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19 Jul 2022
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  • Subject
    • Criminal Justice

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Poster Session

  • Event date
    • 26 March 2021

  • Date submitted

    19 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      Dr. Butch Newkirk