Planning And Funding A Comprehensive Law Enforcement Officer Training Program

"What he don't know won't hurt him." How often we hear that quote, yet how ridiculously false it is. It is the lack of knowledge or the misuse of the knowledge one possesses which produces undesirable results. Those charged with the responsibility of planning law enforcement training programs should ask themselves two questions: 1. What is training? 2. What is the objective of law enforcement officer training? To train is to form by instruction, discipline or drill or to teach so as to make fitted, qualified or proficient. The objective of the law enforcement training program is to make the officer prepared to skillfully perform the duties of his office and instill in him such confidence in his equals, superiors, subordinates and himself that he approaches his assignment with determination and enthusiasm. Any law enforcement agency which fails to recognize that training must include instilling the will to enforce the law in each officer, as well as providing him the information he needs to perform his duties skillfully and with ease, cannot hope to bask in the limelight enjoyed by those who deliver superior performances. Some may say, "What's the use of planning the most desirable training program? We don't have the money to place it in operation, so it wouldjust be a waste of time." Well, don't you believe it. We must know where we are going, how we expect to get there and be able to justify the trip before the taxpayer is willing to pay the fare. A well planned, comprehensive training program is imperative if we are going to submit a sensible, reasonable and justifiable training budget request. The first step toward planning and initiating a comprehensive law enforcement training program is the assignment of reponsiblity by the Chief, to some person in the central headquarters, for the program and delegating him the authority to carry out that responsibility. The administrative and clerical duties in an intensive training program occupy considerable time; decisions must be made regarding subject matter to be presented and time allottment to each; length of school day determined; schedules must be preapred best suited to the work program of the officers and instructors; facilities for classroom, gymnasium, target range and demonstrations must be provided; records of attendance and examination scores must be kept; department and outside instructors must be assisted in preparation for their subject; material must be prepared for classroom distribution; enthusiasm for the program must be created and maintained; orders to initiate various phases of the program must be drafted.

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