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How to keep on top of officer training without the headache

Training tracking software can help ensure proper officer training

Sponsored by Frontline Public Safety Solutions

By Ron LaPedis for Police1 BrandFocus

How many federal, state, and city mandated training courses does your agency need to provide to your officers and support staff? How do you not only ensure that your officers are trained, but that you can prove that they were trained if you are ever put on the hot seat?

photo/Frontline Public Safety Solutions

Dan McCann, Villa Park Illinois Deputy Chief of Police, has to keep up with dozens of mandates. “On an annual basis, they want us to go through training to keep up on current laws and laws that have been changed and updated,” McCann said. “There are also 3-year training requirements on civil and human rights, cultural sensitivity and proper use of law enforcement and authority. Not to mention changing mandates on use of force and mental health issues.”

In this article, I wrote about how tracking officer training can help you if you are called in by an angry board of supervisors, police commission or defense attorney. If your agency is still tracking officer training manually, that means searching through a bunch of file drawers for handwritten, and possibly illegible or faded documents or figuring out who has the latest version of the training spreadsheet on their PC.

Let’s face it – filing and finding papers or building and updating a spreadsheet isn’t fun. Neither are creating class schedules, figuring out who needs a specific class and sending the invite, registering students when they reply to the invite, tracking cross-charges and reimbursing the officer’s travel expenses if any.

With the availability of video simulation for everything from how to handle a firearm to incident de-escalation to active-shooter training, the amount of information that you need to track has just increased exponentially past a handful of classroom courses.

Get time back

Fortunately, Frontline’s Training Tracker software can let you combine printed, firearms qualification scores, computer-generated and simulator session records in the cloud, freeing up physical space in the office and giving your staff back the time to focus on what truly matters: delivering cutting-edge training to keep your cops and communities safe.

Training Tracker is an advanced learning management system (LMS) specifically designed for law enforcement. Training Tracker brings together all of the pieces that you need to ensure that training mandates are met, while tracking all aspects of that training in one place. No longer do you need to update paper records or a spreadsheet.

Your agency doesn’t need to install anything because Training Tracker is a cloud-based system which allows any authorized user with a web browser to create master training course descriptions and the mandates that it fulfills. You also can add the course and budget category along with other details such as whether a certificate is issued and the expiration date. You also can add external classes, such as those taught by NTOA, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center or Police1 Academy.

Benefits of Training Tracker software

Here are some top benefits of using Training Tracker:

  1. A training supervisor can schedule class sessions using the course master so that you never have to enter duplicate information for each registration again. For example, you can register Officer A to attend the September two-day Chain of Custody session that has 20 seats and will be held at HQ on Monday and Thursday and register Officer B to attend the October session with 100 seats that will be held at a local hotel on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both link back to the same master description and pre-reading requirement.
  2. Manage your personnel roster and allow officers to login to the system to view their own training record.
  3. Determine which officers need what courses, send automated email invites, track who signed up and most importantly, who attended.
  4. Track training expenses and manage budgets with how much you spent on travel, hotels, per diem and registration fees.

If you reimburse officers at a different rate for training or you need to pay mileage, the expenses incurred by each officer or by class session are at your fingertips. Dozens of other reports let you evaluate which officers are ahead of, or behind, on mandates and how much mandates are costing your agency in time and money. Training Tracker also can give you the bottom line to document reimbursement for mandate grants.

McCann advises, “Think about how many different certifications you have that you need to keep up on, each one with a different certification period.” It could make for a hefty, hard-to-read and hard-to-keep current spreadsheet if done the manual way.

Info at a glance

Training Tracker provides a color-coded list so a training administrator can easily see who is coming up for certification and how soon, whether it’s a one-time class or weapons certifications that have to be renewed on an ongoing basis.

“There's an overview for the range as well. So the range officer can look in there by officer and if he doesn't see four check marks within a year, he knows someone missed a shoot and they need to get it done,” added McCann.

In summary, Frontline Public Safety Solutions’ Training Tracker can be a huge productivity booster. It can make life easier for your training and accounting staff, ensure that officers receive the training that they require, and most importantly, it can help you prove that your department is meeting community standards.

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