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Training Academy Screw-Ups Send 35 Officers Back For Classes

Training Academy Screw-Ups Send 35 Officers Back For Classes

(Stock Photo)

The Washington Post via YellowBrix

December 21, 2009

The police academy run by Prince George’s Community College has been barred from conducting new police training classes until it can assure the state that it is providing proper instruction.

Thirty-five rookie officers who graduated last year and this year and are working for local departments also have been forced to return to the academy. They were brought back in the past month to repeat classes or tests because the college’s records on them were in “utter disarray,” said Lee Goldman, deputy director of the Maryland Police and Correctional Training Commissions. Some officers returned for a few hours of work, others for almost a week.

Academy Resources

Goldman, whose agency enforces training standards, said the trouble lies with the academy, not the officers.

The academy trains officers for many of the area’s smaller municipal departments but is not the training arm for the county’s police force.

The academy did not supervise weapons training or driving skills, Goldman said; instructors at the state commission conducted those classes. But academy courses covered other required areas, including criminal law, searches, use of force, investigations and court testimony.

Goldman said he could not recall another program in which auditors found such extensive problems documenting what had been taught and tested.

“When they had to go to five different filing cabinets to answer one question about one person and still couldn’t answer it, something was very wrong,” said Goldman, whose staff uncovered the gaps during what was intended to be a routine audit. Some academy instructors also had expired certifications for the topics they were teaching, Goldman said. The instructors have since renewed their certifications.

“What surprised me was the volume” of missing information, said Goldman, who said it stretched over two years in multiple courses taught by various instructors.

A total of 21 police agencies have been affected, most in Prince George’s. The academy trains 40 to 60 cadets a year during a 24-week course. Some students pay their own way to position themselves for jobs, but the costs for others are covered by police departments.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Sucks! I hated the academic side of academy training. I would rather have been doing a million pushups or a 10 mile run than sitting through 4 hours of an instructor blabbing about a perps rights. Tough situation to have to go back and try to relearn everything and then study to pass all the written test they have to do.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    Apparently, no one at this academy has heard of Whiteley v. Warden, 401 U.S. 560 (1971). "If it ain't been written, it didn't happen." The auditors did the right thing. Close it down, fire the Academy Director, and hire someone who will take control and insure that all people receive proper training. It's too bad that these officers have to suffer because of the incompetence of this Director. Whether he agrees or not, he is ultimately responsible. As an after-thought, if he doesn't document at the Academy, what makes us think he is doing this as a Chief of Police?

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago


    I work in a regional non-agency associated police academy in Texas. We are audited every year. We have 3 people here: My director, my Chief Instructor, and me. I do the records. I have 4 academy classes of 40 cadets every year: 2 full time day classes and 2 part-time night classes. This is in addition to between 50 and 100 In-Service classes we hold as well. If I can keep up with the filing, then they can. They should all be fired! This is totally unacceptable.

  • P23-2_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I had a problem similar to this, one of our instructors for driving did not complete an update class, so his cert lapsed. We had to redo the training for driving.

  • Draped_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I'm not a big fan of the college based police academy's...Let the department run their own, yes it is more expensive but they learn what you want them to learn they way you want them to learn it and you don't have to depend on a third parties recommendation...

  • Img_20111016_163737_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I hope all the graduated officers are cleared for duty at the end of all this

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    The problem might lie with the training academy, but in the long run, if these officers or even officers before them that attended that academy could have been poorly trained resulting in liabilites within their departments. It is the departments responsability to make sure that their officers are recieving the proper training and documentation.

  • Police_link_badge_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Never heard of this before.....Academy director should be fired!!! Simple........

  • Ba_old_glory_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Not only is this a waste of time & resources, we have inadequately trained Officers out there. This not only puts the Rookies in harm's way, but FTO's and the general public as well. Sounds like this Academy needs to be replaced or taken over.

  • Image_max50


    over 4 years ago


    That sucks.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 4 years ago

    "Training Academy Screw-Ups..."?
    How about... "Screw-Up Training Academy..."? Now, that sounds right to me...

    Gotta tell ya: As a Training Officer I can't help but to recognize that it all starts with the 'right' training... The boys and girls will follow your lead... If you provide it...

  • Lakewood_pd_max50


    over 4 years ago


    I would be fired up if I had to go back to the academy for classes after having been on the road for a while. Especially when THEY dropped the ball and not you.

  • Steve_mcqueen_max50


    over 4 years ago



  • 74596_129289523905506_927477597_n_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Jeez, not a good news day for academies, huh?

  • 119_1923_max50


    over 4 years ago


    Sounds to me like the "routine audit " needs to be done more often. Somebody really dropped the ball here causing alot of unecessary difficulty for the new recruits.

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