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Police Department Lateral Entry Program

Eligibility for Lateral Entry Training Program

Cobb County Police Department applicants currently or formerly employed by a Georgia Law Enforcement Agency will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for eligibility into the Lateral Entry Training Program.  The Chief of Police or his designee will evaluate each eligible lateral candidate based on, but not limited to, operational experience, size of agency, and scope of responsibility.  Applicants currently or formerly employed by a full-service law enforcement agency from a state other than Georgia, must attend the Cobb County Police Academy in its entirety, currently 26-weeks long.  Applicants will not be considered for the lateral entry training program if the applicant has had a break in service longer than two years. 

The Cobb County Police Department Lateral Entry Training Program consists of the following 3 phases:

Phase I

Approximately 2-3 Weeks

During this phase of the training, the lateral entry officer will report to the Cobb County Department of Public Safety Training Center where he or she will receive equipment, identification, and the Oath of Office. The officer will also attend CCPD Annual Training for incumbent officers (40 hours), obtain training and/or qualifications in the following areas, and any other areas deemed necessary by the training staff:

  • GA POST Lateral Entry Test
  • Legal Update
  • GCIC and S&I
  • Criminal Law, Traffic Law, and Criminal Procedure Update
  • County Policy and Procedure
  • County Ordinances
    • Weapons Training

(Pistol: Primary and Backup, Rifle, and Shotgun)

(Less Lethal: ASP, OC, Taser, and Less Lethal Shotgun)

  • Defensive Tactics Refresher
  • CPR
  • Emergency Vehicle Operations (EVOC, PTT, PIT)
  • Crisis Intervention Training (CIT)
  • Ethics and Professionalism
  • Implicit Bias/Social Justice/Guardian Mindset

Phase II

30-50 Daily Observation Reports

During this phase of training, the lateral entry officer will be on the road riding with an assigned Field Training Officer. The first 10 days will be for orientation and observation, followed by a 30 – 50-day period of daily performance evaluation.  This time may be adjusted based upon performance and will be evaluated on a case by case basis.

Phase III

8 Weekly Observation Reports

Following successful completion of Phase II, the lateral entry officer will patrol in a solo status and will be evaluated on a weekly basis by their supervisor. 

Training to be completed within one year of hire date:

Within one year of the hire date, the lateral entry officer must attend the following classes, and any other courses deemed necessary by the Training staff, as they become available at the Cobb County Police Training Center. This following accounts for approximately four weeks of training which will be provided as individual courses when they become available at the training center.

  • Defensive Tactics (40 hour)
  • Active Shooter (32 hour)
  • Officer Survival (40 hour)
  • Standardized Field Sobriety (32 hour)
  • Crimes Against Children (6 hour)

Eligibility for Lateral Entry Pay

  • Meet eligibility requirements and successfully pass a lateral officer assessment by the Cobb County Police Department Training staff.
  • Lateral entry applicants that do not pass the lateral officer assessment by the training staff must attend the Cobb County Police Academy in its entirety. 
  • Lateral entry applicants may be eligible to receive a salary of $50,179 per year for 2-3 years of service or $51,923 per year for 4+ years of service.
  • In state, Lateral entry applicants that meet all requirements and qualifications of employment will receive lateral entry pay upon being hired.
  • Out of state, Lateral entry applicants must attend the Cobb County Police Academy in its entirety and successfully complete all phases of the Lateral Entry Training Program before being awarded lateral entry pay.

A hiring incentive is offered to both Lateral and non-lateral recruits who meet specific criteria along with completion of phase II training. The Cobb County Police Department requires a commitment of three years from the date of hire. If voluntary separation occurs prior to the three year commitment, the incentive must be paid back on a pro-rated basis.