Study reveals crisis in police recruit training nationwide

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By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior, National Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia A comprehensive new report asserted that American authorities have traditionally trained police officers on the cheap, noting that more than 71 percent of agencies devote less than 5 percent of their total budget to recruit training. Issued by Police Executive Research Forum (PERF), a D.C.-based research organization, the report found that nearly half of the agencies responding to the survey agreed that spending on recruit training had increased over the past five years. However, that was before police budgets faced the dual challenges of cuts related to the COVID-19 pandemic and calls to “defund” the police. The 84-page exposition noted that investments in training could be stalled or reduced at the very time they need to increase to bring about changes required in American policing. Researchers found that in many jurisdictions, “The goal seems to be moving as many recruits as possible through academy training, as fast as possible and at the lowest possible cost.” They argued that this approach had been driven partly by the desire to quickly get more officers on the street – a challenge that became particularly acute as officer hirings declined and retirements and resignations...