KAR Revision Creates Option for Annual Diminishable Skills Training
As part of Gov. Matt Bevin’s effort to cut red tape in state government, the Kentucky Department of Criminal Justice Training (DOCJT) announced today that it has eliminated an unnecessary impediment to annual law enforcement training.
The changes apply to the Kentucky Law Enforcement Foundation Program Fund, which provides a pay incentive to municipal and county police officers whose agencies have adopted certain professional standards.
Kentucky requires officers to receive 40 hours of in-service training each year if their agency participates in the fund. However, a state regulation has prevented officers from repeating any training course for a three-year period. That can cause certain skills – such as driving, shooting and self-defense – to decline.
In response, DOCJT Commissioner Mark Filburn has spearheaded an amendment to the regulation, allowing officers to repeat certain courses in diminishable skills without completing the waiting period.
It’s only the latest improvement to state regulations since Gov. Bevin launched The Red Tape Reduction Initiative earlier this year. The initiative encourages state leaders to review and eliminate regulations that are obsolete, unnecessary or duplicative.
“This amendment will provide opportunities for Kentucky’s finest to consistently refresh their skills, reduce lawsuits and ensure more officers make it home safely each night,” Filburn said. “Repetition keeps you proficient in physical skills, and officers who repeat annual training work from short-term memory rather than long-term memory. This enables them to take quick, decisive action when faced with critical tasks. Short-term muscle memory also is increased with yearly training.”
Kentucky Justice Secretary John Tilley praised the effort, saying that the change will benefit law enforcement agencies across the Commonwealth.
“Law enforcement officers are often exposed to violence and danger with only a moment’s notice, and it’s our duty to prepare them with the most effective training available,” Secretary Tilley said. “Allowing officers to constantly replenish these skills helps ensure their safety along with the safety of our communities.”
The amendment affects 503 KAR 5:090. With the changes, officers can now use up to 16 hours of their annual training on diminishable skills, including driver training, firearms training, legal updates, self-defense, first aid and more. These are all skills that – without practice – an officer can lose over time.
National statistics show that, for decades, fire fights and traffic-related incidents have been among the leading causes of death for officers.
Officers now will be able to attend a four-hour course in driver training and/or four hours of firearms training. The amendment also includes an allowance for one to eight hours of legal update training on recent federal and state legislation, regulations, recent case law and basic legal considerations that impact their duties as peace officers.
Finally, officers now will be able to receive up to seven hours of tactical law enforcement training that could include topics such as self-defense techniques, administration of first aid, active-shooter tactics and de-escalation techniques.
The amendment could not have been accomplished without the support of multiple organizations, Filburn said, such as the Kentucky Association of Chiefs of Police, Kentucky Sheriffs’ Association, Kentucky Association of Counties, Kentucky League of Cities, the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and many more.
“We are so grateful to Secretary Tilley for his support in amending this regulation, and to Gov. Bevin for his efforts toward reducing the red tape in Kentucky’s governmental policy.” Filburn said. “Nothing in law enforcement training should rank above saving the lives of our officers.”