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by Peter Moskos

July 14, 2009

Four-week police-officer training

I may be mistaken, but what is going on in Portland sounds like a very good idea to me.

Give cops four weeks of training: defensive tactics, firearms and the law. Then let them ride with FTOs. And then when the academy class begins, they join the class.

Remember, it's not like a class is starting every week or even every month. The idea is that it's better to have trainees learn on the street (and take that knowledge into the academy) than have pre-hires getting paid to hang around burnt-out desk jockies doing makework.

Here's the story by Maxine Bernstein in the Oregonian.

Look... everybody will be green as hell when they hit the streets. And that doesn't matter if it's 6 months or 1 month of training. Besides, classroom training is not well used anyway. Of my six months in the academy. I'd say that one month was wasted by sitting in an empty room or getting yelled at. Another 2 months were all but wasted with B.S. "classes" where nothing was really learned. That leaves three months of training that was actually productive. And I think I'm being generous.

In fact, after an effective one-month training and some time on the street, I'd be very curious to know what if anything the officers actually learn in four more months of academy training.


Marc S. said...

Are there any big departments half as progressive as Portland on the East Coast? Just reading their website and wiki page it looks like they have their shit together in a good way.

Mr. Condescending said...

Make sure to call north portlanders NOPO, they love it!

Sarge said...

Philadelphia PD has had something similar for quite a while. In mid-Academy, you're sent out on the street with a FTO. Then after being on the street, you go back to academy classes and use what you observed on the street.