- Report Published -
|Review of Regional Criminal Justice Training Academies|
|Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission|
|HJR 285 (Regular Session, 1998)|
|House Joint Resolution 285, approved by the 1998 General Assembly, directed JLARC to study the regional criminal justice training academies. The review was to examine methods of:|
• developing and measuring the quality, consistency, and standardization of regional criminal justice academy training, and
• developing quantitative methods for measuring the knowledge, skills, and abilities of criminal justice officers completing entry-level training.
The study focused on local law enforcement officers, since they constitute the largest group of criminal justice officers.
Virginia has extensive entry-level training requirements for law enforcement officers. These requirements will increase in 1999, reflecting a recognition that more time needs to be spent on the fundamentals of the profession. State funding for regional criminal justice training will double in the current fiscal year, due to a special fee attached to court convictions.
As the State agency responsible for overseeing criminal justice training, the Department of Criminal Justice Services has established a reasonable framework by requiring entry-level officers to demonstrate their mastery of the fundamentals of their profession. However, there are several aspects of training which need improvement. Criminal justice instructors should have to demonstrate their knowledge and skill level prior to being certified to teach. A standard test for certification would provide a quantitative method for measuring competency and would ensure that all law enforcement officers statewide master the essentials of the curriculum. A determination should be made about whether there are enough regional training academies, and whether it may be time to curb extensive switching between the regional academies by local agencies. A study of the feasibility of developing a driver training facility at Ft. Pickett or other suitable location is also needed.