Events over the past years have highlighted the importance of police training in ensuring that law enforcement officers are equipped to handle complex and potentially volatile situations. In fact, in a world where the phrase “police reform” are effectively becoming the bywords of politicians and the communities themselves, training may be the easiest reform action to demonstrate.
The Importance of Comprehensive Training Tracking
- Agencies can't afford to not track training of officers and staff.
- Certifications need to be updated
- Training records of individuals and the department need to be available in one place of record
Effective training can help officers better understand and respond to the needs of their communities, as well as ensure their own safety and the safety of those around them. In particular, training on de-escalation techniques, cultural competence, and crisis intervention can help officers avoid the use of excessive force and improve their ability to defuse potentially dangerous situations.
Training on community policing and relationship building can also help officers build trust with the communities they serve, which can be essential in preventing conflicts from escalating and promoting cooperation between law enforcement and the public.
Additionally, training on the use of force and weapons can help officers to properly use and discharge firearms and other weapons in a manner that is consistent with departmental policies, applicable laws and reasonable community expectations. This can help to reduce the risk of injury to both officers and members of the public during dangerous situations, while maintaining the ever-important public trust.
These training standards are so important that the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) recommends, among other things, that recruit training programs should be comprehensive and structured, and include a strong focus on community policing and problem-solving.
According to PERF, recruit training programs should provide officers with a solid understanding of the laws and policies that govern their actions, as well as the skills and knowledge needed to effectively serve their communities.
PERF also stresses the importance of recruit training programs that focus on ethical conduct, cultural competence, and diversity. This can help officers to understand and appreciate the different perspectives and experiences of the communities they serve, which can be essential in promoting cooperation and trust.
In addition, PERF recommends that recruit training programs include practical, scenario-based training that simulates real-life situations that officers may encounter on the job. This can help officers to develop the critical thinking and decision-making skills needed to handle complex and potentially dangerous situations.
Finally, PERF suggests that recruit training programs should be regularly reviewed and updated to reflect changes in laws, policies, and best practices, and to ensure that officers are equipped to meet the evolving needs of their communities.
The Police Executive Research Forum recognizes the importance of comprehensive and well-structured recruit training programs in preparing officers for the challenges they may face on the job. PERF mentions that American police receive substantially less training than their counterparts abroad.
By investing in their training and development, departments can help to ensure that officers are equipped to serve their communities effectively and ethically. The value agencies, officers and communities find from the training their officers receive as recruits and throughout their careers cannot be overestimated.
Delivering and documenting quality training to our police is one step on the path to promoting professional police agencies.