KLEC Approves 20-week Basic Training Academy
The Kentucky Law Enforcement Council (KLEC), during its May meeting, approved new curriculum for the Department of Criminal Justice Training to reduce the length of the Law Enforcement Basic Training Academy from 23 to 20 weeks.
The academy has been 23-weeks long since 2015. In the time since the 23-week curriculum was implemented, DOCJT staff have studied its operation and analyzed its effectiveness in practical application, said Rob Ramsey, DOCJT Special Operations branch manager.
“It took us about a year to judge if we were doing things that fit Kentucky’s law enforcement needs,” Ramsey said. “We looked at becoming more efficient, and that allowed us to cut three weeks of time out and still meet the goals of the curriculum for our client agencies.”
No practical scenarios or skills-related training were removed from the curriculum, Ramsey emphasized. Instead, some redundancies that became apparent over time were eliminated and other items scaled back without compromising the integrity of the training, he said.
While the curriculum review was not conducted to alleviate the backlog of recruits on a waiting list to obtain an academy opening, the reduction will have the additional benefit of allowing more recruits to complete their academy training in less time.
This – combined with numerous measures DOCJT has enacted to improve training availability – will ultimately benefit all DOCJT client agencies, said Mason County Sheriff Patrick Boggs, chair of the KLEC Curriculum Committee.
“We are experiencing such a huge retirement in our field, we need to get a large number of recruits through the academy,” Boggs said. “The changes needed are going to benefit everyone, and I think the council predominantly saw it that way. We all have to adapt with the times, and as far as education goes, no recruit coming out of the academy is going to lose any one piece of information they would have gotten in the 23-week academy.
“Law enforcement is always changing,” Boggs continued. “We have different challenges every day we have to adapt to, and the academy has to adapt to those as well.”
Thanks to the temporary restructuring of academy class sizes and shift of DOCJT personnel to basic training, DOCJT Training Operations Director Oakie Greer said the wait time for academy entry has been reduced from eight months to two.
“Our hope is that the 20-week academy will aid us in maintaining more reasonable scheduling for recruit classes,” he said.