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Why is Continued Training Important for Officers?

Updated: Dec 21, 2022

Becoming a police officer typically requires several months of rigorous training and testing at an academy, covering physical fitness, defensive tactics, use of force, understanding the law, and other subjects. While basic training is critical, successful police officers are career-long learners.

Here’s why officers need continued training:

To Satisfy Continuing Education Requirements

Iowa and Missouri both have continuing education requirements for law enforcement officers. PLS training can satisfy those requirements.

To Promote Officer Safety

According to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, a police officer is four times more likely to be injured than the average worker. This probably isn’t surprising, as officers regularly encounter violent or hazardous (sometimes both) situations.

With that in mind, safety training must include hazardous materials awareness, hazard communication, bloodborne pathogens, and many other subjects. A good training program also addresses officer mental health. PLS offers training on all these subjects.

Not only can continuing education help officers feel more comfortable and confident in their duties, but training will also reduce costs associated with injured officers. Excellent training saves organizations thousands of dollars in medical bills, treatment, and workers’ compensation.

To Stay Current on Protocols, Procedures, and Laws

Laws are always evolving--whether change comes from a new court ruling or a new or amended statute passed by the state legislature. To properly perform their duties, officers must stay current on revisions to the law, especially those involving use of force, search and seizure, interrogations, and criminal statutes.

As an organization, being unaware of current law can result in more incidents of inadmissible evidence as well as expensive, lengthy civil lawsuits. Keeping up with changes to the law can time consuming, confusing, and boring.

PLS Legal Update makes it easy for officers and departments to stay current on the laws that are relevant to them. Our Legal Update courses for Iowa and Missouri are created by lawyers who review legal changes to provide what officers need to know. Our courses are reality-based, meaning your officers will train on situations other officers in your state actually experienced, such as traffic stops on local highways, protests in your state, interrogation of local murder suspects, excessive force lawsuits against neighboring departments, etc.

To Improve Culture and Reduce Turnover

In any job, offering continuing education or training courses to your employees has cultural benefits. Police officers are no exception.

Well-trained officers can more confidently perform their jobs, reducing stress. Training on new topics prevents boredom, can reinvigorate your workforce, and improve morale.

Training has also been proven to reduce turnover rates. Employees who are actively growing their experience and skills don’t feel the need to look elsewhere to build their resumes. In fact, a LinkedIn learning report of 4,000 employees found that 94% said they’d stay longer at employers that invested in their career development.

Interested in learning more about officer training? View lesson summaries and more information on our overview page.

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