By Andy Wills

Here’s what we know.

States across the country are creating a focus in mandated training in key areas, specifically regarding use of force and community interaction policies. We’ve seen these adjustments in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and now Missouri to name a few.

On October 20, 2020, Missouri POST posted a press release to the media about new mandated training for Missouri officers to take effect in 2021.

The new mandates are in the areas of “De-escalation techniques and recognizing implicit bias”. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s office approved the move “on an emergency basis” according to the press release.

What does this mean for Missouri Law Enforcement training hours?

Missouri officers are required to obtain 24 hours of continuing education training each year in various categories set by the state.

This means, within the 24 hours of required training, 1 hour must be Implicit Bias and another hour will be De-escalation Techniques. The mandated 24 hours will not be increased based on this information. Missouri officers are already required to obtain 1 hour of Racial Profiling training each year.

Where will the departments get this new training?

Luckily, there is no shortage of very capable training academies in Missouri that deliver a large number of hours. However, since COVID 19 has disrupted our world, law enforcement hasn’t been spared. So police departments across the nation are relying on Online Training Services like Virtual Academy to deliver high quality training to its officers and civilian staff. deserve more, Virtual Academy already has the bulk of this training in its current catalog and new courses on these titles scheduled for release in early 2021.

Introduction to De-escalation (1 hour)

Implicit Bias for Law Enforcement (1 hour) 

Introduction to Racial Profiling (1 hour)

Will these hours be increased later?

The honest answer is, we don’t know yet. In speaking with colleagues from across the state the last two days about this topic, no one is certain if these mandates will be extended into 2022.

The important part is making training hours available to officers in an efficient, cost effective manner. Law enforcement is an ever changing landscape; we won't know what 2021 or 2022 have in store for us until we get there, together.

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