Don't panic. It's not a big deal. Your continuing
classroom training, normally referred to as
In-Service Training, will rarely exceed 40 hours per
year. The length of in-service training is usually
determined by your state's police training
commission, or an entity responsible for standards
to maintain for your continuing police certification.
If you're a working cop, the biggest problem you'll
encounter is scheduling. For instance, court
appearances come before anything. I'm sure there
are some legitimate reasons for missing court, but I
can't think of any right now. When you add your
court commitments to your department's staffing
requirements, you'll want to get your in-service
training out of the way at your first opportunity.
What kind of training are you going to receive?
Well...the subjects can cover any number of
things. Forty hours is only one week, and that's
not a lot of time to cover all the things that may
have changed or occurred that can directly affect
your performance as a police officer.
Two of the most important areas of interest will
always be recent court decisions and use of force
issues. Unfortunately, some of that forty hours is
going to be wasted boring you to death with
politically correct junk. You do need to pay
attention to the junk instruction, so you'll know
how to avoid becoming a politically incorrect victim.
When it comes to the important issues, in-service
training can be just as important to the trainers as
those being trained:
In one police department, the training academy
underwent some personnel changes. Of course,
the new personnel were encouraged to "thing out of
the box," and that's exactly what they did.
Somebody in the group decided that the use of
deadly force instruction should be tweaked just a
little to make it more effective. They began
instructing police recruits on the importance of
making oneself sound serious when pointing your
pistol at a suspect.
Here's the tweak: Screaming profanity at a
Here's the result: If the suspect perceives you as a
raving lunatic, he'll be more likely to comply with
your profanity laced commands.
Thankfully...racial slurs were not included on the list
of acceptable profane vocabulary.
Fortunately, this idiot instruction died a quick death
when it was instituted in the In-Service instruction.
You see, in-service students were not recruits, and
the instructors were very embarrassed when it was
pointed out that their instruction was in clear and
direct violation of the department's rules and
Oh, well...nobody's perfect. The most important
thing for you to remember is that your career is a
continuing education; your in-service training is but
one small part of that education.
"Two of the most important areas of interest
will always be recent court decisions and use
of force issues." ~ Barry M. Baker
If you think you've seen the last of classroom
training once you've completed the police academy,
you'll be wrong. Throughout your career, you'll be
returning to the classroom to be brought up to
date on the ever changing issues that affect police
|Copyright © 2019 Barry M. Baker