SECTION III: HOW OFFICER SAFETY TRAINING SHOULD BE DELIVERED
Perceived Levels of Challenge to Conducting Department-Wide Officer Safety Training
1 = Low Challenge 2 = Moderate Challenge 3 = High Challenge
Overall, the limited ability to pull officers from their daily duties due to workload demands (i.e. shift coverage) was identified as the most significant challenge, with almost half of executives identifying this issue as a major challenge, and 33% identifying it as a moderate challenge. An alternative to pulling officers off the street for training is to pay officers overtime to participate in training before or after shifts or on a day off. However, having limited resources to pay for overtime was identified by the executives as the second biggest challenge. The order of these challenges was similar across region and agency type, but some differences were observed across agency size. For example, the smallest agencies (1-24 sworn personnel) were more likely to report not having facilities, equipment, enough trainers, and not enough funding for department-wide training as moderate or high challenges.
Executives were also asked about preferred formats for providing officer safety training, where the executive could respond with a score ranging from 1 (low preference) to 5 (high preference).
Level of Preference for Different Officer Safety Training Formats
1 = Low Preference, 5 = High Preference
The highest preference was for scenario-based training, followed by virtual reality. Executives showed a relatively low preference for online and classroom lecture formats for officer safety training. The pattern of response from the executives was similar across agency size, region, and type.
Section III Takeaway:
In light of the challenges agencies face in delivering training in preferred training formats, there is a need for engaging officer safety training approaches that will mitigate the significant challenge of not being able to pull officers out of the field for extended periods of time.