Police Training and its Impact on The Public

A few days ago, the New Bedford Police Union shared a post which discussed training for New Bedford Police Officers that had yet to be completed, despite an assurance that it would be done by the end of 2021. The post specifically mentioned ICAT training, and provided a link to the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), where additional information regarding ICAT could be found. 

Recently, ICAT training was also mentioned by Jack Date, in an article published for ABC News, titled, “Why police training in the US falls short compared to the rest of the world: Report.”

Read the article here: 

https://abcnews.go.com/US/police-training-us-falls-short-compared-rest-world/story?id=96729748

The article referred to a report from PERF, titled “Transforming Police Recruit Training: 40 Guiding Principles.” Date’s article cited a quote from the PERF report which stated that training standards for thousands of agencies are outdated, inconsistent, with training that is too brief. The article then compared the relatively short training duration of officers in the United States to countries around the world. 

PERF Executive Director Chuck Wexler was quoted in the article as stating, 

“Our training is outdated, antiquated, and is trying to do on the cheap what other places have done in a comprehensive way.”

De-escalation training was specifically mentioned, with statistics showing a significant reduction in use-of-force incidents, as well as a significant reduction in injuries to persons during those incidents. 

The article approaches its conclusion with a discussion about the cost of reform. Staffing shortages are mentioned along with the number of officers entering the profession failing to keep pace with the number of officers leaving. The conclusion is reached when PERF Executive Director Wexler provides a clear, informed, commonsense quote, 

“There has to be a national commitment to want to fundamentally train … and to compensate police at a level that makes them professionals”

Please take the time to check out Date’s article in its entirety, as it clearly touches on important issues such as limited police training and decreased staffing. These issues will not improve unless swift action is taken with regard to improved training and compensation for officers.

The original New Bedford Police Union article can be found here:

https://newbedfordpoliceunion.org/the-importance-of-training/

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