Clay Neely/The Newnan Times-Herald
Anthony Bufano prepares to meet a K-9 during the Mantracker Finals held Thursday night at the Coweta County Rec Center. Hundreds of law enforcement personnel made their annual trip to Coweta County to participate in Mantracker – the annual public safety training conference hosted by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
Since 1993, thousands of law enforcement personnel have made an annual trip to Coweta County to participate in Mantracker – the annual public safety training conference hosted by the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
This week, nearly 1,000 law enforcement personnel from a multitude of agencies across Georgia and Alabama returned to continue their training both in the field and in the classroom.
The event began when the Georgia Department of Corrections partnered with Coweta to teach K-9 handling, searches, and tracking. These tactics are primarily used for escaped convicts, hence the term “mantracker”.
The conference is free, making it an asset to law enforcement agencies looking to meet annual training requirements.
Officers attended sessions at the Rec Center, the Senior Center, the shooting range on Old Corinth Road, the Madras Center, 13 Stories and the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office.
In the current political climate, Sheriff Lenn Wood says law enforcement training is arguably more important than ever.
“Training is what allows law enforcement to understand what is acceptable and legal,” Wood said. “It’s important that agencies do all they can to improve, and we’re grateful to help make that happen.”
Coweta is also considering building its own permanent first responder training facility off Ishman Ballard Road, which would include a training campus for the Coweta County Fire Department, Coweta County Sheriff’s Office and the 911.
For years the county shared a training center with the town of Newnan on the Greison Trail, but with the region’s continued growth County Administrator Michael Fouts sees the move as a win-win for everyone.
The facility would house a wish list of services for all local first responders, including classrooms, a firing range, driving trails and burnt out buildings on a sprawling campus.
Sheriff Wood said his team recently met with managers and experts from across the state to determine what works and what doesn’t for a successful training center.
“We do our due diligence to use the best layouts and equipment, so we’re on the cutting edge from the start,” Wood said. “We’re really looking forward to seeing what we can do here.”
Law enforcement training has never been more important, Wood said. As a result, many agencies spend time and resources ensuring their staff is up to date.
But the cost of training isn’t cheap, so having a local option would be a major benefit for agencies in the Atlanta and West Georgia metro areas.
“It’s something our community can be proud of, and the value of that is keeping our people local,” Wood said. “Many of the more specialized trainings are not offered locally. If we can create this opportunity, these small agencies will be able to take advantage of it. »