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Va Police Chiefs Assn signs up for online training at PoliceCommunity.Net

The Response Network, of Hanover, NH, a provider of online training programs for law enforcement and public safety professionals, has announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with The Virginia Association of Chiefs of Police (VACP) to develop customized in-service training courses that will be available to all Virginia law enforcement personnel on the company’s PoliceCommunity.net online training portal.

“We believe that the Response Network’s online training portal is the only solution that can meet the standard we have set for quality, creativity and cost-effectiveness,” said a statement released by Dana Schrad, Executive Director of the VACP. “The Response Network’s online in-service training courses are nothing less than compelling. They engage as they educate and that is not a small achievement. We look forward to developing a series of courses that will benefit the Virginia law enforcement profession.”

In an interview with Government Security News, Bradley Naples, President and CEO of the Response Network, said the first online in-service course developed exclusively for VACP will be titled, “The Virginia Commonwealth Law Enforcement Legal Updates and Changes in the Law,in conformance with Virginia law, which requires regular legal training for all Virginia sworn law enforcement officials.

Naples added that there are a number of Virginia law enforcement agencies that already use PoliceCommunity.net for online, in-service training, including the Virginia Beach Police Department, Newport News Police Department and the Hampton Police Division. The portal’s overall membership recently passed the 10,000 member milestone, said Naples, as police departments in Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire, Ohio and South Dakota also signed on.

The PoliceCommunity.net portal presently offers nine basic courses, representing more than 50 hours of in-service training, with three more courses scheduled to come online before the end of this calendar year. One of the great value propositions of the portal is that an annual subscription is available at the price of $74.95 per officer, which is substantially less expensive than locally-produced courses, which typically cost around $300 per officer.

The nine courses currently being offered are:

  • Emotional Intelligence for Law Officers
  • Community Policing/Customer Service
  • Use of Force
  • Domestic Violence
  • Active Shooter for Public Safety
  • Becoming an Exemplary Peace Officer/Applied Ethics
  • Blood-borne Pathogens
  • Avoiding Ethnic and Sexual Harassment
  • Mental Health for Law Enforcement

While the prices of online training are very competitive, Naples noted, there are some things you can’t teach online, such as defensive tactics or using your weapons. “But, the more you can tie troops together collegially,” he observed, “the better you’re going to do. There’s a phenomenal revolution going on in training.”

Naples went on to explain some of the obstacles that police officers have to deal with regularly. “Law enforcement officers have a job that is almost impossible,” Naples said. “They deal with life and death issues and see pain, suffering and death. If they don’t take care of themselves physically and emotionally, they can become angry, cynical, bitter and empty, with no pleasure in their lives. They have to be able to reduce mental error. If you use force -- taser or spray -- it’s going to require EMS, and if the persons who have been tased go into ‘excited delirium,’ they can die. Death and lawsuits are the two most significant reasons for training. Millisecond decisions are required, and people will judge if you used reasonable force, or was it excessive.”

“The better educated you are, the better you can handle yourself,” Naples said.

In addition to costing less than traditional officer training programs, Naples believes that online training can bring officers together and bring out creative work products from them, helping them to become exemplary peace officers, while realizing that, “it is not what you got, but what you gave. Not what you made, but what you built. It’s not only competence, but character. The legacy for officer and agency is what’s important.”

The two book-end courses for law enforcement, he said, are Mental Health and Ethics -- and these subjects are covered in depth in the initial series of law enforcement in-service, online training available from Response Network and PoliceCommunity.net.

Technology integration is another reason cited by Naples for online training, as law enforcement officers are being asked to handle more and more complex technology within their vehicles. He attributes the need for in-service training to three different trends:

  • Reduced budgets and the collapse of federal, state and local funding;
  • The entry of the Internet generation, raised on Facebook and smart phones, into law enforcement, and,
  • The fact that the Internet has evolved into an easy, reliable and trusted means for global media distribution.

In the opinion of Naples, the continued rise in adoption rates for high-quality online training is an inevitability in law enforcement, as it is has been in many other professions, as demonstrated by the proliferation of online universities in one field after another.

“Online training can be accessed 24/7, viewed as often as necessary, and it provides a consistent training message from officer to officer.”

 

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