Wednesday, December 02, 2015
Nixon applauds new police training standards
Gov. Jay Nixon Tuesday applauded the Missouri Department of Public Safety and the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission for putting forward new rules to update and enhance law enforcement training standards in Missouri.
Under the new rules, police officer basic training must include instruction in the subject areas of: fair and impartial policing, responding to individuals with mental illness, tactical training and social intelligence, and officer well-being. In addition, the commission increased the number of hours of continuing education officers must receive by 50 percent, from a total of 48 hours every three years to 24 hours each year.
“Each and every day, Missouri’s law enforcement officers put themselves in harm’s way to keep our communities safe,” Gov. Nixon said. “More effective training will benefit both officers and the communities they serve. By making the most comprehensive enhancements to ongoing officer training standards in nearly two decades, these new rules mark a significant milestone that will strengthen public safety and improve the well-being of officers all across our state. I thank the POST Commission and Director Roberts for working diligently and transparently to develop these updated standards that will benefit all Missourians.”
In August, the Governor directed the POST Commission and DPS to put forward new rules by Dec. 1 to improve access to effective and ongoing training in the key areas of tactical training and de-escalation, fair and impartial policing, and officer health and wellness. In September, the Ferguson Commission recommended enhanced police officer training standards among its signature calls to action, including mandated training in fair and impartial policing.
The new rules mark the most wide-ranging updates to officer continuing education standards in nearly two decades. The new standards include:
Mandating that training at all basic law enforcement training academies include training in the subject areas of:
Fair and impartial policing practices, including implicit bias recognition.
Tactical training, including de-escalation techniques, crisis management, critical thinking and social intelligence.
Handling persons with mental health and cognitive impairment issues.
Officer well-being, including mental health awareness.
Requiring all licensed officers receive two hours of training each year in each of those same four critical areas – fair and impartial policing; tactical training, including de-escalation; handling persons with mental health and cognitive impairment; and officer well-being.
Requiring all licensed officers receive 24 hours of training each year to maintain their licenses, instead of obtaining 48 hours every three years, representing at 50 percent increase in required continuing education training hours.
The Governor also applauded the Missouri Department of Mental Health, which has taken significant strides through the Governor’sStrengthening Mental Health Initiative to expand access to Crisis Intervention Training for law enforcement agencies around the state. Due to the additional resources available to help support the costs of the training courses and the assistance of new community mental health liaisons, new CIT councils are in development across the state. A total of more than 3,000 law enforcement personnel in Missouri have been trained in mental health crisis intervention.
“Missouri’s law enforcement officers are often on the front lines of the fight against mental illness, and as Governor I’ve been committed to providing them with the tools, training and resources they need to respond,” Gov. Nixon said. “These new rules will build on the outstanding progress already being made by our Department of Mental Health to strengthen public safety and expand access to mental health crisis intervention training for police officers throughout Missouri.”
In developing the new standards, the DPS and the POST Commission held six public meetings around the state to gather input from Missourians, including law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups and other stakeholders.
The new POST rules will be filed with the Missouri Secretary of State and the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules to begin a 30 day public comment period.