I started my career in Law Enforcement many years ago. As a rookie officer at roll call, a detective came down and took the time to address us and I have never forgotten his words. He said that every day we were preparing, developing, and mastering skills for the most important day we hoped would never come, the death of a member of Law Enforcement, one of us. He went on to say that at that time no matter what your role – patrol officer, analyst, supervisor, or detective – you will be called upon to use all of the accumulated knowledge to solve this case. In preparing day in and day out for the worst-case, you were essentially bringing your best to every tour you worked, every call you answered, every encounter and investigation you were a part of. If continually practiced over and over, this methodology would bring you success throughout your lifetime in Law Enforcement.
This lesson never left me or the incredibly talented individuals I worked with. As skilled practitioners in what is one of the most noble careers in the United States, we need to embrace technology and be proficient in its use. Over the last few years, there have many discussions around the training that police officers receive. Agencies are constantly changing the tools at their departments. This happens for many reasons. Each change requires a learning curve for the end-user. Training costs and adaptability to the agency (24 hour work schedule, etc.) sometimes put a kink into the training atmosphere. Complacency is also an elephant in the room when it comes to training, many officers/investigators/analysts are self-taught on the products they use, thrown into the fire so to speak, or trained by a coworker who was self-trained only 6 months earlier. Maybe many of these officers or investigators are not direct hands-on users but receive reports generated by those with codes and who pass along the reports. As a recipient, do you know what that report says, do you understand all of the information in it and can you articulate it to the next in line (supervisor or district attorney)?
The Vigilant Training Team, like every training team at Motorola Solutions, strives to recognize all of the challenges that Law Enforcement faces today. The Vigilant Training team is made up of former/retired members of Law Enforcement and have over 150 combined years of experience. These former analysts and investigators from agencies across the United States provide training, support, and case assistance to departments. This team supports the Vigilant License Plate Recognition (LPR) and Facial Recognition (FR) products from Motorola Solutions. As a team, we strive to become not only a vendor training team but a partner to those in the community. Across the United States, the use of LPR and FR receives much attention, both positive and negative. Users (directly or indirectly) of both LPR and FR must be trained and articulate in its use, what it is and what it is not, and how when used with a strong policy, it can keep officers safe and reduce crime in our neighborhoods.
Our team has approached this in a variety of ways. First is that our training is always free. Webinars, onsite training, or case assists all come with no charge. We have opened up our training to all members of Law Enforcement, both active customers and non-customers. We work with agency managers to establish recurring robust training in the following ways:
VSLEA.org Training Site: This site is our team’s dedicated site to all things training. An up to date calendar of events includes upcoming webinars and onsite training. The topics of our webinars are constantly changing based on feedback and requests that we receive.
Training on Demand: Our VSLEA.org training site also includes a Training on Demand section that offers users videos & walkthroughs that they can watch at their own pace. Many departments encourage this training for their users as a first step in their training process. Certificates are also issued upon completion of each training on demand course. The on-demand courses provide a great foundation in basic functionality and there are currently 10 different modules available today.
Post-Certified and IADLEST Certified Courses: Our team has also built two eight-hour curriculum courses that are post-certified for officers who are required to obtain credits by IADLEST (www.iadlest.org) and CA POST. These courses originally designed for onsite instruction have been modified due to COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on group gatherings. Our team has transformed these classes into a month-long learning course that meets once a week for 2 hours per session. These classes are still able to provide attendees with hands-on work that ensures best practices and meets the POST Requirements with pre and post-course tests. To date, for these courses we have issued 2,400 certifications and provided over 19K certification hours across Law Enforcement, local, state, and federal.
Lester Fremon said “All the pieces matter”, and when it comes to training this is so very true. Agencies should have good strong policies in place on the use of LPR and FR, which should be then backed up by a robust multi-pronged approach to get all of the agency trained and comfortable in navigating the tools. They should have a support mechanism should your folks need it. Our team offers all of this. Our team loves to train.