The Police Department is committed to having a highly trained police force and accomplishes this through several strategies. First, the Police Department utilizes personnel to serve as in-house instructors after having successfully completed instructor courses. Instructors have been selected to teach a variety of core topics required by state mandate or which are essential to basic police functions. The Police Department currently retains instructors certified in firearms, control devices, Taser, emergency vehicle operation, use of force, and various other topics.
In-house instructors generally teach curriculum during in-service training days and the Department held four 8-hour in-service training days in 2017 for all sworn personnel covering use of force, control devices, firearms, Taser, juvenile justice issues and first aid training.
Command Staff also regularly conduct “roll call training”, shorter training segments conducted on-duty on a variety of topics where videos, handouts, discussion, demonstration, and debriefing are all used to instruct personnel on a consistent basis. The Department also subscribes to the Police Law Institute, an on-line training service which provides monthly training for police personnel on legal and procedural updates. This training fulfills the requirements of state mandated training. All sworn personnel are required to complete this monthly training.
Select personnel attend a variety of training conferences relevant to their special assignments or position, both in and out of state. Additionally, newly promoted Sergeants attend a 1-week first line supervisor training course and in-house training program, and newly promoted Commanders attend a multi-week law enforcement leadership executive training program. The Police Department also holds a yearly Command Staff Leadership Workshop separately for Commanders and Sergeants, where advanced leadership topics are address.
Personnel also receive advanced training through outside Mobile Training Units (MTU) such as the North East Multi-Regional Training Group and the Tri-River Training Group. In 2017, police personnel received over 1,800 hours of training through MTU’s. The following is a representation of training hours through MTU’s by general topic:
It should be noted that some topics invariably overlap and this graph is an approximation. Also, the above graph does not demonstrate all of the training received by Police Department personnel; solely that received through Mobile Training Units. It does not reflect in-house training, on-line training, outside conferences, staff and command training, police academy training, or training personnel receive as members of specialty units through their respective teams.
In 2017, a higher than normal percentage of MTU training focused on mental health as the Police Department continued the effort of having all sworn officers certified in Crisis Intervention Team training. It is expected that once this goal is met, less outside vendor training will be used for certification in this topic. Additionally, Investigative Skills comprise a high percentage as the category covers a wide variety of topics of an investigative nature, from DUI investigation to interview and interrogation techniques to specialty topics within the Investigations Division.
The Police Department continues to seek ways to implement and improve training, and adds curriculum as deemed necessary and as resources allow.