The Police Law Institute talks about their training program, and why it is centered on scenario-based learning. Read this, and also reference your text book chapter on Selection and Development. Do you feel that moving toward a scenario-based training program is the right step for police departments? Defend your answer with direct examples.
Each discussion board post will be between 250 – 350 words long. Refer & cite current resources in your answer.
CJE3065 Police and Society – Module 2 Selection and Development
The quality of police personnel is a highly important issue, because of the increasing complexity of police work.
Departments should be screening in, rather than screening out potential candidates:
1.Screening in – identifies the best applicants in an employee pool
2.Screening out – identifies applicants who are unqualified and removes them from the applicant pool, while still leaving those who are minimally qualified
"The policy of merely eliminating the least qualified results in mediocrity because it allows marginal applicants to be employed along with the most qualified" (pg 192)
Recruitment A Police Executive Research Forum found that the most common methods of recruitment for agencies were as follows:
1. Newspaper ads 2. Career fairs 3. The Internet
Approximately 50% of agencies used one of their own programs for recruitment. The most commonly used police programs included:
1. College internships 2. Explorer programs 3. School resource officers
A DOJ project called Hiring in the Sprit of Service aims at recruiting service-oriented individuals.
5 agencies, representing both rural and urban departments, have tailored their hiring process to market for individuals who have communication, people, leadership and organizational skills, and not just traditional paramilitary skills.
The agencies also developed valid pre-employment testing procedures, job task analysis, and performance measures related to community policing and service-oriented practices.
Selection After recruitment, the selection process determines which candidates are best suited to the needs of the department Selection criteria are used to rate candidates, and a ranking system is generally created for candidates.
Departments attempt to use selection criteria that are both reliable and valid Validity is the degree to which a measure actually assesses the attribute that it was designed to measure Reliability is a measure's ability to yield consistent results over time
Invalid criteria may have an adverse impact on groups that are protected by equal employment opportunity laws and regulations Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 prohibits any discrimination in the workplace based on race, color, religion, national origin, or gender Griggs v. Duke Power Company (1971) – concluded that a selection method can have a disparate impact when the selection rate of a group is less than 80% of the most successful group; also known as the four-fifths rule Albemarle Paper Company v. Moody (1975) – found that selection and promotion tests or standards must be shown to be related to job performance
However, a standard can be required, even though it may have a disparate impact, if the standard can be shown to be a valid predictor of job performance. Such a standard is called bone fide occupational qualification (BFOQ)
Departments utilize job task analysis to identify behaviors that are necessary for adequate job performance
Pre-Employment Standards Candidates are measured against a department's view of what is required to become an effective police officer
Many departments have standards regulating these:
1. Age 2. Height and weight 3. Vision 4. Physical agility and strength 5. Residency 6. Education
In addition to pre-employment standards, departments will conduct an investigation of a applicant's past experience, behavior, and work history. This process is composed of:
1. Background investigation 2. Polygraph examination – illegal in some jurisdictions 3. Psychological testing 4. Medical testing
Pre-employment tests include:
1. Written exams and performance 2. Personal interview
Police Academy Academy training is one of the strongest training investments that potential police officers can make There are approximately 625 state and local academies operating in the US The greatest amount of time is spent on firearms training, followed by physical fitness, investigations, self-defense, patrol procedures, emergency vehicle operations, and basic first aid/CPR Recruits not only learn official information, but they also learn unofficial boundaries and rules in police culture Most academies operate under the stress-academy model; militaristic type training 83 % of academies train on identifying community problems 60% provide training on the S.A.R.A. model 80% provide some sort of terrorism training When departments fail to train their officers adequately, liability becomes an issue City of Canton v. Harris (1989) ruled that departments were liable civilly when officers violated citizen's rights as a result of a failure to train In a study of 1500 lawsuits, the following were what was brought up most often in regard to inadequate training:
Use of force, false arrest, search or seizure, failure to protect, detainee suicide, use of emergency vehicle, and provision of medical assistance
Field Training Offer Program FTO program serves two purposes:
1. Some things in policing can only be learned through experience (training) 2. Serves as an evaluation phase for new officers (selection)
Most programs last around 14 weeks, which is divided into three 4-week phases and a 2-week evaluation period A trainee is typically assigned to different FTOs and different shifts during the three 4 week phases If an officer does not do well during any of these phases, they may have to repeat them
Phases of the FTO program:
1. Phase I – introductory phase, trainee is taught basic skills, including officer safety and other areas of liability to the organization and officer 2. Phase II – continuation of phase I, trainee begins to apply their mastery of skills. Report writing, traffic enforcement, and crime scene investigation become routine for the trainee 3. Phase III – characterized by advanced skills training and polishing of skills already learned 4. Phase IV – evaluation period; the trainee takes on the role of primary officer while the FTO observes
Daily Observation Reports are completed by FTOs
Police Training Offer Program PTO is an alternative to training new officers Differs from traditional training in that it doesn't emphasize repetitive skill and rote memory capabilities but focuses on developing an officer's learning capability, leadership, and problem-solving skills Problem-based Learning is a process that stimulates problem solving, critical thinking, and team participation. Trainees begin with a problem, rather than getting a problem to solve at the end of class. Trainees decide what information is needed and develop a course of action to solve the problem.
PTO covers two primary training areas:
1. Substantive topics – the most common activities in policing 2. Core competencies – the required, common skills which officers engage in, and are required to utilize in daily performance of their duties
New officers must successfully pass 15 core competencies
In-Service Training Because of the ever-changing manner of the criminal justice system, training is a continual need In-service training is the most commonly used method for maintaining and improving officer performance; may also reduce the likely hood of complaints and litigation Used to recertify, refresh, or provide new information to officers in the most critical areas of their job, including weapons qualification, driving, defensive tactics, and changes in law BJS survey found 92% of local police departments had an annual in-service training requirement, for non-probationary officers
Promotion Promotion is usually based on several criteria including an officer's
Time on the job or time in rank Past performance Written examinations Oral interview College hours or degree
Lateral entry refers to the ability of an officer, at the patrol or supervisory level, to transfer form one department to another, usually without losing seniority
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