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    I was talking to a friend of a friends yesterday about some problems that our local PD has been having.He told me that a lot of our police officers hadn't been to the Academy or been certified and that they worked for months without having been to the police academy for training.
    Do police departments usually hire guys and let them work that long without sending them to a police academy and if so wouldn't that be a huge liability for the PD.
    Make no mistake about it,you will get caught and you will go to jail!

  • #2
    The AP ran just such a story on Sunday, March 18, 2007.

    Report: Police officers' training varies
    Incidents raise flags about how much they should get before hiring
    Published Sunday, March 18, 2007
    Four months into his job, a police officer in Mississippi holds a gun to the head of an unarmed teenager and puts him in a chokehold. A rookie officer in Illinois gets into a car chase that kills a driver. And a new campus policeman in Indiana shoots an unarmed student to death.
    Some are blaming these harrowing episodes on what an Associated Press survey found is a common practice across the country: At least 30 states let some newly hired local law enforcement officers hit the streets with a gun, a badge and little or no training.
    These states allow a certain grace period - six months or a year in most cases, two years in Mississippi and Wisconsin - before rookies must be sent to a police academy. In many cases, these recruits are supposed to be supervised by a full-fledged officer, but that does not always happen.
    The risks, some say, are high.
    "You wouldn't want a brain surgeon who isn't properly trained. Someone shouldn't be out there carrying a badge and a gun unless they are qualified to be out there," said Jeremy Spratt, program manager of the Missouri Peace Officer Standards and Training Program.
    No one seems to know how many untrained recruits are on the streets. But many police chiefs interviewed for this story said that for years, they have used less-than-fully-trained officers without problems, and they strongly defended the practice for reasons of money and manpower.
    It allows departments to put new hires on the streets right away, without waiting for them to go through police academy training, which usually is a full-time, weeks- or monthslong exercise during which the officer is not on duty but still on the payroll. In some places, there are waiting lists to get into the academy.
    Also, some police forces see the grace period as a tryout, during which the department can decide whether the officer is going to work out before it invests thousands of dollars in police academy training. (In several states, if a recruit graduates from the academy, the police force is reimbursed by the state, but not if the officer fails to finish.)
    "We get some people that work a few weeks and say, 'This isn't what it was like on TV and this is not for me.'" Batesville, Miss., Police Chief Gerald Legge said.
    Chris Hollingsworth, 24, was hired a few weeks ago by the Newton, Miss., police but is not scheduled to go to the academy until April. He said he is working under other officers' supervision and isn't allowed to do much anyway.
    "I can see how (the grace period) would be a positive thing as far as letting people see if this is what they want to do for a living," Hollingsworth said. "But I can also can see how it would be a negative thing because you're a real big liability until you go through the training and there's not much you're allowed to do."
    In Illinois, Janice Cole, a 58-year-old nurse, died in 2004 when a police SUV driven by Sparta Police Officer Misty McPherson slammed into Cole's car during a chase.
    Charles Chapman, the lawyer who helped Cole's family win $5.4 million in a lawsuit, said a policy that allows officers up to six months to enroll in the academy contributed to the woman's death. McPherson had not even started basic training.
    "She didn't even know how to turn the sirens on," Chapman said.
    Sparta's police chief did not return a call for comment.
    In 2003, Robert Duplain, a 24-year-old rookie police officer at Ball State University in Indiana, fatally shot a student - three rounds in the chest and one in the head. The officer faces a wrongful-death lawsuit.
    Duplain had taken only a 40-hour "pre-basic course" consisting of mostly online classes and firearms training, said Rusty Goodpaster, director of Indiana's police academy. Indiana law allows new hires up to one year to go through the police academy, but they can take on enforcement duties before then if they take the pre-basic course, Goodpaster said.
    Some states - such as Arizona, California, Colorado and 15 others - require training before officers are put on the force. Elsewhere, the rules are different.
    "The minute I say, 'I do,' I can carry out the laws of small-town West Virginia," said Chuck Sadler, law enforcement training coordinator for West Virginia, where recruits have 90 days to apply to the police academy.
    Some states such as Tennessee, which allows officers six months to attend a training academy, have considered eliminating the grace period, said Brian Grisham, executive secretary of Tennessee's Peace Officers Standards and Training.
    "The days of 'Barney Fife, here's your gun and go' are over. You have to be trained first," Grisham said. "There's too much liability."
    183 FBINA


    • #3
      TN allows LE agencies up to six months to send new hires to the academy. It used to be 12 months, but was changed within the last couple of years. I know it sounds silly, but when you have tiny, rural departments whose officers make $7 - $9/hr and agencies can barely meet budgets, they can't always pay the academy fees right away everytime they hire someone.
      I'm 10-8 like a shark in a sea of crime..


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