At a Glance
THOMAS E. FLAHERTY, Executive Director
Central Office - Connecticut Police Academy,
Number of employees - 26
Recurring operating expenses - $2,830,549
Organizational structure - Office of the Executive Director; Basic Training Division; Field Services Training Division; Management Services Division; Certification Division and Office of State Accreditation.
The Police Officer Standards and Training Council has a three-fold mission. First, it is committed to providing innovative, credible and responsive high quality basic, advanced and specialized training to Connecticut police officers in an economical manner and in amounts sufficient to enable them to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to serve the public with commitment, empathy and competence.
The Police Officer Standards and Training Council is also committed to adopting and enforcing professional standards for certification and for decertification of Connecticut’s police officers, in a manner consistent with the law, considerate of the regulated community and uncompromising as to basic values, and ethics.
Third, The Police Officer Standards and Training Council is charged with developing, adopting and revising a comprehensive accreditation standards program for local law enforcement units, to grant accreditation to those units that demonstrate their compliance with such standards and to conduct assessments to determine such unit’s compliance with such standards.
Agency responsibilities are to provide basic police and in-service police training and set entry-level educational, licensing and training standards for all non-state police division police officers in the State of Connecticut; accredit training programs offered to police recruits in police academies; control the certification of police instructors; establish procedures for certified review training; oversee and award credit for certified review training of veteran officers and recertify triennially those who qualify; and encourage the growth of professional development, and continuing education programs for police officers. In addition to town and city police, the agency also regulates, and oversees the training of, police personnel from the four police departments of the Connecticut State Universities, the University of Connecticut, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Environmental Conservation Law Enforcement Unit; and numerous other state agency law enforcement units.
The agency, recognizing the difficulty that police agencies are having recruiting and hiring new officers, has greatly expanded guided tours of this facility during business hours to select groups of young people interested in policing and currently involved in some association with law enforcement. These tours have been provided in the last 12 months to students from the University of New Haven Criminal Justice program, members of the West Haven High School Criminal Justice Club, students from Tunxis Community College, students from Torrington High School and the Redding Police Department. The tours permit students to observe the daily routines of Academy life including driver training, our firearms range, driving simulators, physical fitness and academics.
These achievements are described in detail in other parts of this narrative but clearly, the most significant was the maintenance of Public Safety Academy Accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies which was awarded in 2008.
We have also finished a complete revision of our Basic Training Curriculum, a validation and re-design of our exit physical test and a more logical sequencing of courses as part of the curriculum revision and re-design.
We have completed the development of a revised “Academy Exit Agility Test” which involved the testing of 108 police officers representing 58 police agencies. The resulting revised exit test was presented to the Police Officer Standards and Training Council on June 19, 2008, where it was conditionally approved on a trial basis for the class that graduated on September 2, 2008. This test has now been implemented as the Exit Physical Agility Standard.
The Basic Training Division conducted five recruit training sessions over a 12-month period graduating 232 recruit police officers.
The elective Electronic Defense Weapon training was continued with 134 recruits being trained, tested and certified in its use.
The division participated in the updating of the basic recruit training curriculum which was part of the requirements to be nationally accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies. The updated curriculum was approved by the Police Officer Standards and Training Council on May 1, 2008 to go into effect for classes beginning after January 1, 2009.
Our personnel conducted mandatory driver training for five POST academy sessions plus all operating satellite academies and comparative certification candidates. The total number of personnel trained was approximately 413.
Improvements and upgrading have been ongoing at Wilcox Township, (our five building training complex built by the students of Wilcox State Technical). During the 2008-2009 period, bleachers have been added and positioned to accommodate class size groups to observe training scenarios in real time. Plexiglass window shields have been installed to cover windows and sensitive areas of the buildings to allow for simunitions training in a realistic environment. Building #48 has been redesigned to simulate a Police Substation for processing, detention and community policing. A 20 amp service for each of the five buildings has been installed to allow small heating units for winter training. A 200 amp service has been provided for the crime scene building for heating and air conditioning. This completes the fifth year of this project development in a joint effort with the Police Officer Standards and Training Council, Connecticut State Police and Wilcox State Technical School.
In January of 2009, we initiated a project to develop a content valid curriculum exit test to replace and modernize the exit exam being used by the Academy. During the process, over 500 scenario based test questions were received, evaluated and pared down to approximately 300 final questions. Over the course of several months these questions were used in varying formats in POST and Satellite Academies for pre and post test evaluations. The resulting test project and results were presented to the Police Officer Standards and Training Council on 6/18/09 and the report was accepted and the Council authorized implementation.
The Field Services Training Division which provides in-service training sponsored 140 course offerings in which 5,017 police officers were trained in executive development, supervisory and management topics, legal update, criminal and crash investigation, drug enforcement techniques, advanced firearms, and other specialized and technical training programs.
Six in-service training programs were funded for Human Trafficking related training. Training focused on federal and state human trafficking laws and statutes, conducting investigations, interviewing victims and witnesses, organized crime involvement, fraudulent identification, business enforcement strategies, driver’s licenses, immigration documents and travel documents. Topics also included traffic stops, cultural issues, cross cultural communications and illegal alien populations. A total of 124 Police Officers have been trained in these areas.
In partnership with the State’s Departments of Banking and Criminal Justice, POST has been providing a variety of financial crime investigative training to prepare major case detectives to pursue complicated white collar crime cases. POST was tasked by the legislature to write and distribute a model policy for this state on the topic of “Death Notification”.
With the assistance of a grant from the Office of Policy and Management, the agency provided training programs on improving both the investigation and prosecution of domestic violence cases. In addition to law enforcement attendees, a significant number of state’s attorneys and advocates benefited from this instruction.
The agency’s website, www.ct.gov/post, is a vital source of information for law enforcement personnel, civilians and the general public. The webpage “Career Opportunities in Law Enforcement” links visitors to law enforcement agencies actively recruiting entry level and certified police officers. This specific site aids police agencies in their recruiting process as well as aiding the interested public in how and where to seek information to begin a career in law enforcement. This site continues to grow in use averaging upwards of 8,000 hits a month. In 2005, the entire website merged with the CT-DSF Portal Site. The “Latest News” feature on the homepage allows for important announcements to be displayed in a timely manner. These announcements are beneficial to the public and law enforcement personnel providing resources for issues such as domestic violence. The In-Service Training Division “Training Course” page is the source for officers to find the latest training classes available to them as offered by POSTC. Officers can apply for a class utilizing the online applications forms and return them electronically. The Agency’s Affirmative Action policies are posted for public viewing as is the Sexual Harassment policy, Anti-Harassment policy, the Drug Free Workplace policy and other policies germane to this Agency and State employment.
The POST Certification Division made onsite audits for compliance of police departments completing 25 this year. Two Satellite Academies, New Haven and New Britain began preparations for academy classes to being in the fall of 2009. Five classes also graduated from the Connecticut Police Academy located in Meriden. The annual lesson plan inspection was completed in January, 2009 for the POST Police Academy Basic Training Division. Work continues on reviewing and updating the current POST Instructor qualifications and instructions areas which has been carried on throughout 2008 and 2009. The agency sets the professional standards and randomly audits compliance of 8172 currently certified officers employed by 169 agencies as of June 30, 2009.
The Accreditation Division works in two areas: (1) managing the Police Officer Standards and Training Council’s Connecticut State Law Enforcement Accreditation program and (2) maintaining Public Safety Training Academy Accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc.
In the first area, to date there are 27 agencies accredited, 8 new agencies have submitted applications entering the program and there are presently over 30 agencies in self assessment.
In the second area, the Academy was presented to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies for accreditation at their March 2008 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. The Commission awarded accreditation to the academy for a period of three years. The accreditation division continues to monitor compliance to accreditation standards and gathering proofs of compliance to demonstrate for the reaccreditation process in December 2010.
The agency's planning function is performed by a Council subcommittee studying the issues and making recommendations to the full Council. That subcommittee's long-term efforts, along with the full Council, at funding a state of the art imaginative and long overdue upgrading and expansion of the Council's Connecticut Police Academy facility in Meriden has been fulfilled. The ongoing project involving the strategic implementation of a newly written content valid bank of POST Certification test items is well along the road to completion.
Comprehensive Municipal Police Training Plan as Required by Sec. 7-294c
Our training plan includes provisions to train approximately 250 municipal police officers per year at our residential Connecticut Police Academy in five annual classes of 50 students each. We also intend to certify, inspect and audit up to eight satellite police academies around the state which supplement our Meriden academy, primarily sponsored by the larger municipal police agencies in this state.
Additionally, our training plan includes providing and or sponsoring in-service training programs to accommodate approximately 8,000 sworn in-service officers in this state to assist them in complying with our POSTC mandated 60 hour review training cycle every three years.
Furthermore, we have completed the revision of our entire recruit training curriculum to reflect developments in police training nationwide and to provide current, comprehensive and meaningful training to our students.
The members of the Council are: Chief
Anthony J. Salvatore, Sr., Chairperson, Cromwell; Chief Peter A. Agnesi, UConn