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5 ways online learning improves roll call training

Roll call has been an important part of policing for decades. But when is the last time your department modernized the process?

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Technology can help coordinate, organize and track roll call training more efficiently than traditional protocol.


Sponsored by Police1 Academy

By Police1 BrandFocus Staff

Most departments kick off a shift like they did on “Hill Street Blues” with roll call. It’s also the case that many departments haven’t fundamentally changed the way they conduct roll call since well before the TV show first aired in 1981.

The speed and scope of technological evolution have opened new doors for traditional procedures like roll call. Online learning is one way to leverage technology and make roll call more effective for everyone in the department. Here are five examples:

1. Address timely topics affecting your community or areas of improvement for your officers

Learning management systems provide a large library of approved training resources, courses and videos that cover a wide-variety of subjects. This means it’s easy to access topics that your department needs to cover quickly, such as situations involving a recent high-liability event in your area.

For instance, if a school in your community recently received a bomb threat, it’s likely the training lieutenant will go over the proper protocol for bomb threats during roll call. Rather than reading a general order word-for-word, training lieutenants can use an approved online course for a comprehensive, well-laid out training experience.

Administrators who use lesson plans, such as those provided by Police1 Academy, can ensure consistency and timeliness in messaging. No matter what shift you’re on, the online course will provide immediate access to the exact same information for every LEO.

Additionally, follow up modules can be assigned for continued education and reading. This opportunity for additional training is especially useful for rookies who don’t have as much on-the-job experience as veteran officers, or for officers who want to dive deeper into a subject.

2. Meet annual training hour requirements using daily briefings

Often times, roll call training isn’t tracked the same as scheduled annual training, which doesn’t make sense. Roll call is valuable time that should be accounted for. By using a learning management platform, roll call training is conducted with accredited content and can be documented easily. For instance, if you’re using a Police1 Academy video during roll call the following next steps can help record participation:

  1. Select the personnel who completed the training.
  2. Add the date and time the training was completed.
  3. Submit the record for the credit completed into the LMS.
  4. Once other videos on a similar topic are completed and equate to one hour of training, a certificate will be awarded to those who successfully completed the full course.

Online learning platforms make it easy for administrators to run and automate training reports so training progress, and roll call hours, can be easily monitored. And, by finding innovative ways to track training time, you can decrease the time officers are off the street participating in training.

3. Leverage microlearning to maximize training

Online learning technology facilitates microlearning, which is a way of breaking up training into shorter “bursts”. Today’s modern LMS platforms should offer courses and videos in this format and provide a way for training captains to break courses up into smaller segments that are ideal for adult learners who may have short attention spans or limited time available for training.

This format of flexible learning aligns with the 5 to 15-minute window most law enforcement agencies have available for roll call training. Microlearning is increasingly critical for the challenging law enforcement schedule, and it allows personnel to fit small bits of learning into their hectic work and life schedules.

For instance, PoliceOne’s Active Shooter is a one-hour course comprised of 6 shorter videos:

  • Shooting Tactics for Multiple Officers in Close Quarters
  • Reality Training: Sparrow Firearms Training
  • Active Shooter Update
  • Equipment to Carry on an Active Shooter Response
  • Multiple Active Shooters
  • Responsibilities of the First Officer in an Active Shooter Incident

Officers can take each of these videos, individually and in short bursts. Once they’ve all been completed, the training videos equal an hour of POST-approved credit in 38 states. Training can be completed in conjunction with other segments, too. Like, the Defensive Tactics and Leadership courses offered by Police1 Academy.

Additionally, microlearning has proven to be a better way to communicate important information. Learning from content accessed in short bursts, and content which is relevant to the individual, ensures retention and builds conceptual understanding. Not to mention, shorter content can make learning seem less intimidating.

4. Save training captains’ or sergeants’ time with developed roll call agendas

Leading roll call can be a time-consuming process. Normally, at least one supervisor comes in early to gather materials and information to be presented during roll call. Searching for training tips or videos consumes valuable time, and if a training captain or sergeant is rushed, the content during roll call can be less meaningful than it should be.

Online learning provides vetted and approved content that can quickly be identified and used in roll call.

5. Easily communicate between shifts

All agencies have policies and procedures that are introduced, revised or rescinded. Most times these changes need clarification, which tends to occur during roll call. But an offline version of roll call can create message variation between different shifts.

By centralizing roll call information within one online system, you can control the message to ensure your officers are all being told the same thing. You can also collect frequently asked questions from your officers to document standardized answers related to the policy change for future reference.

Technology has immensely improved the way agencies can conduct roll call. To learn more about how online learning can improve your department’s procedures – from roll call to credential tracking – read more on PoliceOneAcademy.