Trainers’ Association Established During Instructors’ Conference
The Kentucky Law Enforcement Trainer’s Association was established last month by trainers and leaders from around the commonwealth looking to improve communication and training in law enforcement.
More than 100 trainers and law enforcement executives attended the first Kentucky Instructors’ Conference, hosted by the Department of Criminal Justice Training. The conference was conducted to discuss the possible formation of an association and hear from leaders of the Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Officers’ Association, which has been established for more than 30 years.
Dwight Williams, director of the Cleveland State Community College Law Enforcement Training Academy and 19-year TLETOA member, and Lt. Bobby Anderson, Roane County (Tenn.) Sheriff’s training supervisor and 21-year TLETOA member, spoke about the details of their organization and how it has grown to include more than 400 members.
“The objective is to bring together law enforcement training leaders from across the state to exchange information and ideas, and to bring the best training to these officers to take back to their agencies,” Williams said.
The strength of the Tennessee organization is in the networking of trainers, Williams said. Trainers from all regions of the state are able to call others to exchange lesson plans, get help with issues and put a face with a name.
“Work hard at it, because it is well worth it in the end,” Anderson said. “There are going to be hiccups you run across and it takes some time to work out, but it’s worth it.”
With help from the Tennessee organization, Henderson Police Sgt. Jeff Welch said Kentucky will be ahead of the game because TLETOA has provided the road map to a successful organization.
“It’s going to open up lines of communication as well from the academies,” Welch said. “DOCJT Commissioner Mark Filburn has done such a good job of breaking down those silos and saying we’re all on the same team. We’re not better than you, you’re not better than us. It will give us an avenue for information to go straight to the people who need it.”
Welch’s father has been involved with the Tennessee organization for 30 years, he said, and bringing the organization to Kentucky has been a dream of Welch’s.
“Iron sharpens iron,” he said. “We have some of the best trainers in the country right here in Kentucky. Let’s train ourselves.”
A steering committee was elected during the conference to begin laying the foundation for KLETA. Dividing the state into four regions, the following leaders were elected to serve in the interim.
West: Henderson Police Sgt. Jeff Welch
Central: Elizabethtown Police Chief Tracy Schiller
North: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alvin Farris
East: Fayette County Public Schools Police Director Lawrence Weathers
DOCJT Instructional Design Training Instructor Gina Smith, who helped coordinate the instructors’ conference for DOCJT, said the steering committee will begin planning for a future conference, during which time more permanent board members will be elected. The steering committee also will include representatives from each of Kentucky’s four law enforcement training academies, and those requests already have been made.
Those interested in getting involved with KLETA should contact the steering committee member in their region. There will be different levels of membership, and both instructors certified by the Kentucky Law Enforcement Council and those who are not will be invited to participate.
“When I started going to the TLETOA conferences, I just thought, ‘Man, we are missing the boat in Kentucky on this one,’” Welch said. “Everybody is doing the same thing, just a little differently. We want folks to say, ‘In Henderson, they are doing something this way, and in Madisonville, they do it a little different. Let’s get those two together and have the best of both.’ Now we’re doing it even better. I just think this will make training even more productive having this organization.”