A New Arm Of Criminal Justice Takes Flight At GNTC

Monday, September 25, 2017 - by Don Foley, GNTC
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Criminal Justice Director Tony Adams teaching a course within his program on the Walker County Campus in Rock Spring. This year, learning about the use and operation of remote-controlled drones has become a part of the curriculum.
Georgia Northwestern Technical College Criminal Justice Director Tony Adams teaching a course within his program on the Walker County Campus in Rock Spring. This year, learning about the use and operation of remote-controlled drones has become a part of the curriculum.

With the state of law enforcement and the issues around everyone’s safety these days, one of the more welcome options on the horizon for many officers will be the use of drones. “Simply put, drones will have the ability to save lives.” 

That’s the belief of Georgia Northwestern Technical College Criminal Justice Technology Director Tony Adams. After more than 13 years with Georgia’s State Board of Pardons and Paroles since 1989, and now with 15 years under his belt with GNTC, Mr. Adams says these unmanned and compact remote-controlled vehicles are helping change the way many departments are getting their jobs done. 

GNTC has purchased two new DJI-series Phantom drones for the program’s use. The goal is to make these students flight-ready when it comes to the use of unmanned flight vehicles in the law enforcement arena. “As more and more departments deploy drones they continue to prove their value,” added Mr. Adams. “They provide incredible situational awareness to emergency services teams. Police officers, fire fighters, and SWAT teams across the country use drones for search and rescue, crime scene investigation, accident investigation, criminal pursuit, forest fire tracking, and damage assessment. Drones are not just toys or flying cameras.” 

Students enrolled in Mr. Adams’ program on the college’s Walker County Campus will soon get the chance to have hands-on experience at flying and operating the Criminal Justice Technology program drones. “Everyone is really excited about it in the classroom,” said Mr. Adams. “We’ve been troubleshooting problems on the set-up of the drones and we are ready to get them in the air for flight and study.” 

As of late, drones have been used by authorities to assess situations in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma in the Southeastern United States. From tracking weather to handling traffic situations, drones are allowing authorities across Florida, Texas, and other areas impacted by the most recent hurricanes, to have eyes on areas they would not usually be able to access easily. 

The next term available for application into the Criminal Justice Technology program will be the spring semester at GNTC. Classes begin this January on all six campuses, as well as online. For more information about the program, visit the college at GNTC.edu or contact a Student Help Center on any one of the six campus locations at 866-983-4682.

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