Policies and Procedures being used nationwide to address the challenges of managing a public safety academy during the COVID-19 emergency
Under authority of the Governor’s Emergency Declaration Alabama POST adopted an Emergency Rule, pursuant to the Alabama Administrative Procedures Act, which authorizes the Executive Secretary to suspend the enforcement of the statutory and regulatory requirements relating to provisionally appointed law enforcement officers completing certification training within six months of his or her provisional appointment. The Emergency Rule also authorizes the Executive Secretary to make emergency modifications to the academy curriculum as is deemed necessary in order to facilitate the training and certification of law enforcement applicants and appointees for the following 120 days or longer if the Order is extended by the Governor.
We have canceled all in-service and specialized training for the immediate future along with academy sessions which were scheduled but not yet started. Academy classes which had completed all mandatory pass/fail portions of the basic curriculum are accelerated to graduate and the officers returned to their employing agency. Classes that were in session that could not be accelerated or had only just begun academy training were suspended and returned to their agency. These classes will resume at the point they were suspended once academy basic training resumes. Clearly, this situation is very fluid and subject to change on short notice.
Alaska has two primary LE Academies; Anchorage PD’s, non-residential police academy, and Alaska DPS’s basic (residential) academy in Sitka.
Anchorage: At this time, we are still going strong as a group. We have enacted safety protocols by:
- Reducing contact with outside APD role players, etc
- We’ve stopped all other training except the recruit academy
- We’ve closed the lobby and have “withdrawn” to reduce exposures in this context, and
- We’ve made cleaning protocols within the facility more frequent and more complete (fitness equipment/etc).
Sitka: The current academy remains in session with the following operational changes.
- We have limited people coming into the academy to essential personnel only.
- We have prohibited recruits from going on store runs; only TACs will be doing that for them.
- We have redoubled our efforts to keep the building clean and virus/germ free. High touch areas (public facing door knobs, steering wheels, etc.) are being disinfected three times a day.
- Recruits are being issued individual thermometers and will be taking and recording their temperature every morning.
- In the unlikely event that a recruit gets sick and is required to quarantine, they will be excused from the academy.
Colorado only has one residential academy. While I have not heard concerns directly related to returning cadets to the residential academy, we are having conversations regarding all of our academies. The crux of the conversation revolves around the inability to use social distancing recommendations in the academies, especially during skills testing.
While it is not official yet, I am having a meeting in an hour to determine whether or not we allow the academies to continue as is, or to end all in person training. We would allow live, interactive remote instruction for classroom instruction, but skills training would not be allowed.
Colorado POST has suspended all in person academy training, effective 2359 hrs on Monday, March 16. POST is allowing a variance to rule to allow for virtual classroom environments for academic only instruction. Academic instruction can continue if conducted in a live, interactive online format. There must be the ability to share training aids and documents electronically and in real time. Recruits and instructors would need to be displayed on video, with the instructors having the capability of viewing the students at any time to ensure they are participating in the course of instruction. Recruits must be able to ask questions verbally or through a chatroom format. This format should replicate a classroom environment as much as possible in order to comply with Rule 21 requirements of 100% attendance. Each academy must submit a plan for POST approval on how they will achieve the requirements before they are allowed to continue instruction.
All range activities and the academy are postponed until further notice
All POSTC in-service training classes through April have been cancelled.
Georgia academies are not typically residential. There are a few exceptions. All law enforcement training is shut down for now, except for training delivered on-line. The situation will be reassessed weekly.
Idaho POST suspended all training activity on campus on Friday March 20th with the exception of agency use of the driving track. We graduated one basic academy (Felony Probation and Parole) a week early and suspended two basic academies (Patrol and Misdemeanor Probation) and those students will be required to return and finish when we reopen. We also cancelled all three basic academies that were scheduled to start in April and will evaluate additional cancellations as the situation develops.
In Illinois we have seven Basic L.E. Academy’s and five Basic Corrections:
-Chicago is shutting down. (commuter)
-Illinois State Police is shutting down. (Residential)
-Cook County is still going to an April date and then do a temporary shutdown period. (commuter)
-Suburban L.E. Academy, is doing the same as Cook Co. (commuter)
-Police Training Institute (U. of I.) is shutting down. (residential)
-Southwest IL College is continuing and monitor. (residential)
-Macon Co L.E. Training Center is continuing and monitoring. (residential)
-Correction academy’s are evaluating as they go. (residential)
In Illinois, all the academy’s have been shut down or suspended training. This past weekend, our Governor ordered stay in place order. We are working to provide some on-line or distance learning for blocks of instruction where capable. Other concerns are the requalification’s for firearms.
The IND Law Enforcement Academy is struggling with the same issues. Our academy is residential and we send our basics back home every weekend.
We are requiring self-reporting as well as peer reporting of any illness. If they have a temp of 100.4 or higher they are sent home.
We have cancelled all in-service training, in hopes of keeping as much potential virus out of the building as possible.
AS of today, we are continuing classes and reinforcing all CDC suggested hygiene practices.
In light of the coronavirus, the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy is suspending basic training for 8 weeks.
Our residential academy is currently training 157 basic recruits. The decision seemed inevitable.
The Indiana Law Enforcement Academy in Plainfield, IN (only true residential Academy in the state) sent our basic recruits home on March 17, 2020.(10 weeks into a 15 week program) Our projected date of return is 8 weeks out but that is subject to the COVID 19 situation. In-service classes at the Academy are similarly situated.
As of today, March 23, 2020, we are sending all but a few critical academy staff home for two weeks to shelter in place and where possible, work remotely.
We are working with the Governor’s Office to obtain an executive order addressing the mandate of academy attendance within one year of hire date. Our hope is the executive order, will extend the time to two years from date of hire to attend a basic academy.
Iowa is testing our on-line instruction beginning tomorrow, students will remain in their dorms for the on line training. We anticipate providing all classroom training on line by the end of the week. We are expediting our qualification skills training this week. Our goal is to conclude all skills training within the next 5-8 days, and provide all lectures on line for the remaining Academy. ( Graduation is April 14th).
We have discontinued joint lectures( as we run two classes concurrently). We instituted cleaning protocols last week for staff and students. Students nights out have been cancelled.
We are considering screening students, but not sure what that would look like. All of this could change of course. Monitoring day to day.
The Iowa Law Enforcement Academy has sent all students home and will finish all training online.
KSCPOST Commissioners have suspended the 20 hour limit for online training during the 2020 annual training year (July 1, 2019 to June 30, 2020). The suspension is a pro-active measure to address agency and officer concerns regarding the receipt of annual in-service training and complications as a result of COVID-19.
March 24, 2020
Louisiana is advising all of our 27 POST Academies to adhere to our Governor’s “Stay at Home” proclamation - this proclamation requires all persons to stay home, and limit group contact to ten (10) persons or less. Most of our academies have suspended training until at least 04/12/2020 (end date of current proclamation), or have limited training to some type of video instruction. We will re-assess the status of training once the end date of the proclamation gets closer.
Due to the ongoing public health crisis, ALL courses and academies hosted by MPCTC have been postponed or canceled until April 10, 2020.
Maine’s Academy had a Basic law Enforcement Training Program (BLETP) in session, this is a residential 18 week program. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, we suspended the BLETP program on 3/16/2020, after week 11 and sent the cadets back to their parent agencies to help fill staffing shortages. We also canceled a 5 week Basic Corrections Training Program (BCTP) that was scheduled to start on 3/19/2020. In addition, we suspended a variety of in-service training classes that had been scheduled.
The Academy’s Board of Trustees met in emergency session on 3/19/2020 to review program statuses and voted to waive certain requirements to allow these officers to work. The Academy’s staff have conducted certification testing for the cadets who had not been previously certified as reserve law enforcement officers, this will credential these cadets as reserve officers and allow them to work in the interim. We are actively working with our State’s University representatives for the potential of conducting remote classroom trainings at a variety of satellite classrooms around the state. Several of our graduation standards to be certified require hands on and performance based testing i.e. defensive tactics, EVOC, firearms etc. These standards are being evaluated to see if alternatives can be found or postponed until the pandemic subsides.
ALL MPTC and MPTC-authorized BASIC RECRUIT TRAINING WILL CONTINUE AS SCHEDULED. All other MPTC and MPTC sponsored training is suspended. This decision is fluid and will be reviewed and revised on an ongoing basis.
Nebraska is also a residential academy with students going home over the weekend. Additionally, the Nebraska State Patrol Training academy is also on site.
Last Friday we implemented a few steps with the recruits, basic handwashing/hygiene instruction, explanation of social distancing, self-quarantine over the weekend, report exposures or illness ( don’t return to academy) and cleaning has been ramped up.
It is anticipated that by week’s end we will close the facility to all but recruit training due to the gathering size restrictions that we anticipate will be imposed. Discussions have also been held about keeping the students over the weekend and conducting training over the weekend to expedite completion of their class.
The academy staff is also identifying best practice on how to deliver on-line classes in the event we need to shut down.
Nebraska Law Enforcememt Training Center has closed its facility to outside users in an attempt to keep the academy open. The basic LE academy has 17 days of training to complete before graduation. We have taken an unprecedented step in keeping the students on site over the weekend and are conducting training in an effort to complete the course and send certified officers back to their agencies 2 weeks earlier that we had originally scheduled.
Nebraska has closed the facility to all users except for the Nebraska State Patrol recruit class and the NLETC 204th Basic recruit class. The 204th class remained at the facility over the weekend (and will next weekend as well) attending classes to expedite graduation from April 17 to April 3. Additional schedule changes will assist in this.
The next basic class is scheduled to begin May 3. We are maintaining that start date for the time being. However, instructional staff continues to work on alternative delivery methods in the event that the first week (or so) of the next class must be delivered remote learning.
The Nebraska State Patrol continues to conduct their recruit training as previously scheduled. Their students are allowed to return to their homes on the weekends and then are assessed when they return on Sunday evening.
Here in Nevada the Governor issued an executive order to shut down “public schools”. We have taken the stance that our residential academy is training and we will not be shutting down. Understand that we are a residential academy with controlled entry and no public access to our buildings. We have implemented CDC guidelines in terms of disinfecting our facilities, we are limiting outside instructors and using only internal staff for roll playing. Obviously our attendees do not fall into the “at risk” category based on medical screening to enter our academy (age or underlying health issues). Additionally we understand that in policing, an inherent risk is communicable disease exposure. Part of training is teaching how to mitigate that risk and we are using that in a real sense to train the cadets. In todays world, where every agency needs bodies, the risk is far outweighed by the benefit of getting trained cadets to the street. Delaying the ability to field first responders puts the public at risk.
In NJ we are screening the recruits upon return, basic questions about their health, as well as, contact over the weekend. We had one academy send 4 recruits home who rode together, one reported potential exposure.
We are requiring immediate reporting concerning symptoms or exposure.
New Jersey has closed their law enforcement academies effective March 20, 2020. We have three academies running a virtual video classroom for some academic portions. The closures will be reassessed on April 6, 2020.
Our academies are keeping on schedule. Cadets have been instructed to self-report if they feel they have had an exposure over the weekend(s).
See more details on PoliceOne.com: NM Academy stays open with new COVID-19 measures in place
We have ten basic law enforcement academies:
Albuquerque PD Academy – graduated March 20, 2020
Bernalillo County SO Academy – still in progress with schedule modifications
Dona Ana County SO Academy – still in progress
Las Cruces PD Academy – paused academy for undetermined amount of time
Central New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy – still in progress
San Juan County Criminal Justice Training Academy – still in progress
Western New Mexico University – still in progress
New Mexico State Police Academy – still in progress
South Eastern New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy – still in progress
New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy – still in progress
We also have telecommunicator academies:
Central New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy cancelled their class scheduled to start March 16, 2020
NMLEA has a Public Safety Telecommunicator class scheduled to start on April 13, 2020
We are receiving equal amounts of concern regarding staying open (exposure) and shutting down (agencies need officers/telecommunicators)
New Mexico Law Enforcement Academy COVID-19 Mitigation Protocol
The vast majority of academies are moving forward with recruit training in some capacity. All indicated they have implemented additional CoV-19 safety precautions and are using social distancing to the extent possible. Many have moved the scheduling around to avoid sections that require close physical contact and will resume those sections at a later date. In addition, many of the larger academies are exploring distance learning options for sections that make sense. We will be receiving and reviewing proposals for appropriateness of this delivery method. NYPD graduated a class early, and is delaying the start for their next. Not sure about the state police, state corrections, etc. because they don’t report to us.
In North Carolina we have approximately 63 delivery sites for our BLET program, the majority of them are through our community college system. Many of our colleges are shutting down, to include the BLET programs. Our code allows for a 3 week consecutive break which will help. My Commission is going to have a special meeting tomorrow to address other concerns.
The Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) indefinitely suspended Basic Peace Officer Academy 20-01 as of March 20, 2020. Academy Class 20-01 will be reconvened as soon as conditions render it safe to do so.
The CLEET statute, 70 O.S. § 3311(E)(4),puts a six-month limitation on service by non-certified peace officers until they must either be certified or forfeit their peace officer position. However, § 3311(E)(4)(a) authorizes CLEET to extend thattime limitation for “good cause.”
CLEET’s rules also provide that individuals who cannot complete their initial academy will be afforded an opportunity to successfully complete another academy so long as such training is completed within one year of their initial hire or appointment date. See Rule 390:10-1-2(e). This situation is somewhat differentthan what the rule anticipatesas for most of your cadets, this is their “initial academy” and they have not failed to complete it. Instead, their academy has been indefinitely suspended to be reconvened as soon as possible. However, the spirit of the rule still applies.
All basic academy training programs are suspended for at least four weeks. All basic and leadership classes in session at the Academy were sent home on March 17, 2020 and will brought back when safe to provide training. All regional and advanced classes suspended currently until the end of April. All of the above suspensions may be extended as warranted. Our plan is to in essence pick-up basic training where we left off when we can safely reopen the Academy. All Academy basic classes scheduled for the future will be pushed backwards.
DPSST Professional Standards Section working to address Oregon Administrative Rules for a variety of requirements such as maintenance of certification training, extensions for basic certification, CPR/First Aid card expirations, etc. These will be addressed by the adoption of a Temporary Emergency Rule under either under the Governor’s Emergency Declaration or by calling a special meeting of the Executive Committee of the Board on Public Safety Standards and Training (BPSST).
DPSST’s collective bargaining agreement was amended through a letter of agreement to define essential personnel and other urgent matters not covered under our current CBA such as paid administrative leave if employees are directed to stay home. We are also implementing six-foot social distancing among staff, flexible work schedules (including nights and weekends), etc.
DPSST staff from the Academy are being deployed to help support the state Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) by staffing various positions and sections such as planning, government relations, mass care, and others. The Academy is being looked at as a possible location for the ECC as we have lodging and food service on our campus which would in essence isolate ECC staff from having contact with others.
Things are changing on a daily basis. Our amazing staff are doing a great job taking care of each other, their families, and our stakeholders during these difficult times.
Oregon POST: Pandemic Planning
Although it is not a residential academy, the Rhode Island Municipal Police Training Academy has shut down for the next two weeks.
South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy Suspends Training (News Article)
Our response was exactly like Vermont’s below, except we are still convening limited in-service right now.
TCOLE Technical Assistance Bulletin regarding COVID-19 Response
March 16, 2020
We took several precautionary steps here, given that we’re also residential and the recruits go home on weekends:
- We spent time with them last Friday to impress upon them the importance of self-quarantining over the weekend
- They were ordered to report any exposure to anyone exhibiting symptoms
- Staff here met all the recruits when they reported in last night, to check them for symptoms and check their temperatures
- All eating surfaces in the dining area are cleaned with an anti-bacterial solution both right before and right after the recruits eat
- Our building is essentially locked down, with all access badges except those belonging to staff turned off
- Some staff have been instructed to work from home
- Currently, we’re resisting postponing training, given that it would start a domino effect for us that would be disruptive, and we don’t have the ability to offer remote training
- Skills testing has been adjusted to avoid any personal contact, but social distancing is challenging since some skills testing involves being within a few feet
- In-service training has been postponed or cancelled
Given our operating parameters by the Governor, this is as far as we can go without shutting down training altogether.
March 24, 2020
Since I wrote that, the Sate of VT shut down attendance here at the academy and we’re presenting some training remotely while postponing skills training and testing. All in-service training here in the building has been suspended.
DCJS is fully operational, but the majority of staff are working remotely. DCJS is not able to accomodate in-person visitors at this time. Thank you for your patience while we adjust to the circumstances.
The Bureau of Corrections has suspended in-person visitations at all correctional facilities and all volunteer programs, work details, and furloughs until further notice.
Department of Justice facilities on St. Thomas and St. Croix, including the Office of the Attorney General, are closed to the public and will not conduct person to person services until further notice. Services to be provided electronically or telephonically include administrative claims and questions regarding pending criminal cases.
After learning that we had a few students come to class today [March 16th], while displaying active symptoms (fever and cough), and the escalating number of cases in our region, we have suspended all training for 30 days. Most support staff have been telecommuting for the past week. Now all trainers will join the ranks of telecommuters. We plan to take advantage of this time to do a TON of work on curriculum, etc.
Academy COVID-19 Academy Guidelines
Considerations on How to Keep Officers Safe (March 26th)
Best Practices for In-Person Training
COVID Screening LE Academy Form
Wyoming is a residential academy and we are experiencing concerns being raised by students and administrators. Our response protocol has been adjusted given CoVid-19 parameters (adjusted from H1N1) and now being reviewed by the Dept of Health. Unfortunately, we've received little guidance at this point, Our Governor has directed state offices to remain in business. We are also receiving inquiries from adjunct and guest instructors about continued operations, and at least three communities have enacted a ban on out of community travel for work which has resulted in law enforcement withdrawing students from Academy training. Considerations regarding cessation of all training for a 30 day period are taking place with a focus on the development of alternate training deliveries. One thing for sure, this changes minute by minute.
Our academy paused all training on 3-20-20. All programs basic and advanced training will be reactivated at a point to be determined in the future.
In the best interests of our staff, students, and contractors, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers (FLETC) ceased all on-Center training operations effective upon the conclusion of training Friday, March 20, 2020. This applies to all FLETC training delivery points. FLETC is working with its Participating Organizations to safely move students off-Center as quickly as possible. No FLETC students or staff members are suspected to have or have tested positive for COVID-19. FLETC is working with its Participating Organizations to resume training when appropriate.