The Institute for Justice Education Reform is the nation’s only nonprofit advocacy organization solely dedicated to increased, improved and regulated training for U.S. law enforcement and criminal justice employees.
WHY TRAINING MATTERS
As with all professions, law enforcement’s performance is a direct result of their training. Simply, who among us aren’t significantly shaped by our training at work? Many factors influence these experiences such as the style of training, the amount of training, the instructor and the primary areas of curriculum focus.
However, in some careers, such as law enforcement, the consequences of bad training can be the loss of life, serious injury, disability or incarceration. Decisions by insufficiently trained officers can have a disastrous impact on families and the communities in which they live. Finally, poor training creates higher liabilities to police departments resulting in large amounts of economic waste – which is passed on to taxpayers.
This oversimplified and vague qualification carries an overwhelming amount of influence when an officer’s actions are reviewed by the courts, civilian review boards, and legislators. This often unsupported statement can be found repeated in most reports an officer writes, sworn statements or affidavits and in the courtroom and other sworn testimony.
Worse, when abused it can provide officers near blanket exculpation even in the most egregious police misconduct cases such as the homicides of Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Tamir Rice, and Freddie Gray.
Though some progress has been made, frequently in lieu of self‐evaluation and critique, many law enforcement officials defend their glaringly flawed actions as judicious and proper as evidenced by long‐standing peer approved training and policies while simultaneously, on average ,
kill 3 humans every day.
We submit that killing more than a 1,050 people a year and devastating scores of families at enormous costs to communities and our nation, are not metrics by which any serious profession could credibly resist training reform.
It is evident that the training must be changed.
Aside from the few killings that are seen to be improper, better training can also mitigate unnecessary “justifiable killings” through instruction in human bias recognition, extensive mental health crisis training, de-escalation techniques and reality-based threat assessment.
Scientifically proven training should replace rejected teachings such as “Warrior Cop” and the debunked and nonsensical “Twenty-One Foot Rule” which has needlessly taken countless lives. Not only does strong training reduce use-of-force it also reduces injuries and saves lives for police officers as well.
You have people that practice law and our lawyers go to school for eight years. But you can become a cop in six months and don’t have to have the same amount of training as a cosmetologist. That’s insane. Someone that’s holding a curling iron has more education and more training than people that have a gun and are going out on the street to protect us.
COLIN KAEPERNICK, Activist/ Athlete
How does your state compare?
Police vs Cosmetology Training
States in red have less than the US average of MANDATED BASIC POLICE training, 667 hours.
hover over any state to see the cosmetology/ police training comparison. | click on any state to visit its Police Officer Training and Standards division.
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*Mandated training represents the minimum standards that state legislatures require for a person deemed qualified to perform a position.
OUR APPROACH FOR REFORM
The Institute For Justice Education Reform recognizes the complexity of problems which exist within our criminal justice system. There is neither a simple solution nor a single aggravator to which total blame can be assigned. Likewise, reform cannot depend on one methodology. We advocate for a 3-dimensional approach to affect meaningful and lasting change in law enforcement training with equal emphasis on Community Support, Legislative Change, and Improved Curricula.