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New Training or New Fad? | U.S. PATRIOT NEWS & REVIEWS

New Training or New Fad?

It seems like every day someone, or some company, is advertising the “latest and greatest” in law enforcement training. Some of this new training is worthwhile and deserves a second look. Much of it is simply a rehashing of already available programs or altogether useless outside the classroom or gym. The question becomes “How do you separate the latest and greatest from the latest fad?”

1. Does this training address a real world problem or need? The first sign that a prospective training program may be unnecessary is when the company representative has to sell you on not only the quality of the program but the very need for it.

2. Is the training already part of your program in a different format, or from a different source? If so, how does this training differ from that you are already utilizing? As I said earlier, much of today’s training is a rehashing of already existing programs. If this is the case, you need to determine if there is any real value in abandoning a proven program for the new kid on the block.

Firearm Trainer3. What is the professional background of the instructors? Do they possess prior police or military training necessary to not only understand the topic but its application in day to day policing? Being a former or retired officer does not automatically qualify someone as an instructor, just as a company’s ability to offering training in self-defense does not necessarily qualify them to provide First Aid training. Check references and ask questions.

4. Do the instructors possess the necessary certifications to provide this specific training in your state? Although a company may offer a superior program, if it is not approved in your state, where needed, it is likely to be a waste of your officer’s time. Most importantly, if the training is not yet recognized in your jurisdiction it may be inadmissible in court and jeopardize future cases.

5. What are the long term commitments or requirements for maintaining certification received through this training? Will you be required to obtain yearly updates? Is there a reoccurring fee for certification of department instructors, training manuals or materials? For some topics this may not be an issue. For others, it will be vital in determining the overall usefulness of the program.

Even with all available information at your fingertips, it is often difficult to evaluate the quality or usefulness of specific training. I highly recommend having one or two experienced instructors from a related field attend and evaluate new training prior to agency-wide implementation. You may find that although the training itself lives up to its own hype, it simply does not have a place in your agency or work environment.

Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.

Tom Burrell

Tom enlisted in the US Marine Corps Reserves in 1987. Following service in Desert Storm, he transitioned to active duty with the US Coast Guard. In 1997 he left the USCG to pursue a position in conservation & maritime law enforcement. Tom is currently a Captain and he oversees several programs, including his agency investigation unit. He is also a training instructor in several areas including firearms, defensive tactics and first aid/CPR. In 2006 Tom received his Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Harrisburg Area Community College and in 2010 a Bachelor’s Degree from Penn State University.
Tom Burrell
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