FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. How does someone become a police officer?
You must first meet the State of Georgia’s minimum qualifications which can be found under O.C.G.A. 35-8-8. Once those requirements have been met, a person can submit an application to the City of Winder for either a police recruit position (meaning a non-certified police officer wishing to be considered as a police academy candidate that will be sponsored by the Winder Police Department while attending the police academy) or a police officer who is already certified as a peace officer by the Peace Officers Standards and Training (P.O.S.T.) council. All applicants would then undergo an extensive background investigation to determine if they are qualified and suited for a position in law enforcement.
The Winder Police Department requires all police recruit applicants to have, at a minimum, an associate’s degree from an accredited college or university in a course of study that is applicable to law enforcement. However, upon successful completion of the police academy the recruit will receive a pay increase as part of the educational incentive offered by the City of Winder.
2. I do not have a high school diploma, but have obtained a G.E.D. Can I still become a police officer?
Yes. Under Georgia Law, a G.E.D. or high school equivalent is all that is required to become a police officer. The Winder Police Department will consider POST certified applicants with a high school equivalent diploma.
3. Can I work for the Winder Police Department if I have a family member who is an employee with the city?
You can work for the Winder Police Department as long as your family member works in a different department within the city. We have a city policy against two family members working within the same department.
4. Can I be a Winder Police Officer if I have been arrested before?
The short answer is, “it is possible.” We examine each applicant and their background on an individual basis. Several factors are considered when looking at someone’s criminal/driver history. These factors include, but are not limited to, time that has elapsed since the charge; the severity of the crime, number or frequencies of the violation, etc. We look at the issue at hand in each case. We weigh cases based on whether or not the applicant would be considered a credible officer when presenting cases in court, and whether or not the integrity of the applicant would come into question when performing the duties of a police officer.
5. How long is the police academy?
The academy is 12 weeks long. Several classes are offered each year by the Georgia Public Safety Training Center.
6. How long is the training after I successfully complete the police academy?
Once an applicant successfully completes the police academy, they then become a certified police officer with the State of Georgia. However, when they begin service with the Winder Police Department, they are assigned to a Field Training Officer who spends the next 13 weeks providing the new officer with additional training. The new officer must graduate three progressive four (4) week stages as well as one week with our Criminal Investigative Division before they can be released from field training and begin working on a patrol shift on their own.
7. Do you have a take-home vehicle program?
Yes. If you live within 20 miles of the Winder Police Department, and have completed all necessary training associated with a new hire (as mentioned in question #6), you will then be issued a patrol car that can be driven back and forth to work. This is offered based on the need for officers to respond to court and emergency call-ins while they are off-duty.
8. What is the shift schedule for a police officer?
Our patrol division works 12-hour patrol shifts on a two-week pay period. Officers on patrol work 60 hours one week (M, Tu, F, Sa, Su), followed by 24 hours the next week (W, Th).
9. Do you offer a hiring or sign-on bonus?
We do not currently offer a hiring or signing bonus. However, if you have a degree from an accredited college or university, we do offer an annual pay incentive based on Associate level and Bachelor level degrees. This is an annual pay increase that's in addition to your regular annual salary.