Study Reveals ‘Crisis’ in New Recruit Police Training Across America

A comprehensive new report asserted that American authorities have traditionally trained police officers on the cheap, noting that more than 71% of agencies devote less than 5% of their total budget to recruit training.
Issued by the Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), the report found that nearly half of the agencies responding to the survey agreed that spending on recruit training had increased over the past five years.
However, that was before police budgets faced the dual challenges of cuts related to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls to “defund” the police.
The 84-page exposition noted that investments in training could be stalled or reduced at the very time they need to increase to bring about changes required in American policing.
Researchers found that in many jurisdictions, “the goal seems to be moving as many recruits as possible through academy training as fast as possible and at the lowest possible cost.”
They argued that this approach had been driven partly by the desire to quickly get more officers on the street – a challenge that became particularly acute as officer hirings declined and retirements and resignations increased because of the COVID-19 pandemic and as homicides and other violent crimes surged.
“Besides recruiting and hiring, there is perhaps no activity that is more crucial to the success of police departments and sheriffs’ offices than how they train recruits,” researchers wrote.
“Recruit training is where new officers acquire the basic knowledge and skills to do their jobs. It’s where they learn the right way to do things and have an opportunity to make mistakes and learn from them, without the serious consequences of making those mistakes in the field.”
They continued:
“It is where new officers acquire the foundation of technical know-how that will stay with them throughout their careers. But recruit training is about more than just technical instruction.
“Recruit training is where prospective officers are introduced to the concept of public safety and public service. The training academy is where police agencies can articulate their philosophy and vision and begin to instill their core values.
“Finally, recruit training is where agencies build and reinforce their culture through the next group of frontline employees.”
While policing has changed in many respects throughout the years, officers struggle with challenges on several fronts, including dealing with individuals in crisis.
The report contended that, far too often, police recruits are trained as warriors, not as guardians and partners intended for civil communities.
To effect change, new officers should receive new and adequate instruction sensitive to the communities they serve, researchers wrote.
“The current state of recruit training demands that we rethink – and remake – the system for how new police officers is trained,” the researchers argued.
“We need national consensus and national standards on what the training contains, how it is delivered, and by whom.
“This report may present a grim picture of the current state of recruit training, but it also puts forth a series of principles that can help guide the transformation of training to meet the challenges of policing for today and tomorrow.”
Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the PERF, said one could ascertain much about a police training academy from the moment an individual walks in the door and encounter a group of recruits.
“If the recruits immediately back up against the nearest wall, look straight ahead, and bark out in unison, ‘Good morning, ma’am!” or “Good afternoon, sir!” you pretty much know the culture and operating philosophy of that academy,” Wexler stated.
“If, on the other hand, the recruits pause, look you in the eye, and offer a more conversational, “Good morning, sir” or “How are you today, ma’am,” that tells you something else.
“Academies have traditionally followed a paramilitary, boot camp-like model that emphasizes discipline, deportment, following orders, and a strict hierarchy where recruits are often on the lowest rung.
Wexler continued:
“Discipline and following the chain of command are certainly important and necessary aspects of police training and operations. But when those elements become so pervasive that they overshadow almost everything else, it can undermine the academy’s mission, which is to prepare new police officers to serve and protect their communities with compassion and humanity.”
Researchers concluded the report by noting that American policing needs to re-imagine and retool recruit training.
They recommended that officials rethink how academies are operated and staffed, what the recruit curriculum contains, and how the training is delivered and by whom.
They also suggested authorities rethink how to use reality-based scenario training more broadly and effectively and how recruit training integrates with field training once recruits leave the academy.
“Re-imagining policing begins with tackling how police officers are taught. This report is a blueprint for fundamentally rethinking the current way we train new police officers – for dismantling the existing model and building a new approach,” Wexler asserted.
“The goals are ambitious and far-reaching. But we hope that if police agencies can attract those who possess the ‘right stuff,’ we can provide them with the kind of training that will take us into the future guided by a new way of thinking.”

October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit www.edwardsforhouston.com

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

Calling all teenage student-athletes! If you have dreams of playing college soccer and wish to represent an HBCU, the HBCU ID Camp is your golden opportunity. From 8 am to 5 pm on November 11-12, Houston Sports Park will transform into a hub for aspiring male and female soccer players. Coaches from HBCUs across the nation will be present to evaluate, scout, and offer valuable feedback. Moreover, they might even spot the next soccer prodigy to join their collegiate soccer programs. This camp is not just about honing your soccer skills but also a chance to connect with the HBCU soccer community. You’ll learn the ins and outs of what it takes to excel on the field and in the classroom, which is crucial for a college athlete. The HBCU ID Camp is an excellent platform to network with coaches, learn from experienced athletes, and take the first steps toward your college soccer journey. To secure your spot at this incredible event, don’t forget to register [here](insert registration link). Space is limited to 120 participants, so make sure to reserve your place before it’s too late. It’s time to turn your dreams of playing college soccer into a reality.

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