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Brian Willis

Brian Willis

Brian Willis is a retired officer, trainer and author who now serves as deputy executive director for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

William Harvey

William Harvey

William "Bill" Harvey is currently serving as chief of police in south central Pennsylvania. He retired from the Savannah (Ga.) Police Department where he worked assignments in training, patrol, and CID. Harvey has more than 25 years of experience working with recruits, rookies, and FTOs.

The Training Curve

Schedule annual training classes sooner rather than later.

June 22, 2010  |  by William Harvey - Also by this author

One of the biggest things that can cramp your style and ruin your standing with a supervisor is procrastination. I know you, so don't run and hide on this one; get it over when you can. Putting off for tomorrow is building a debt for things to do on days where you would rather be somewhere other than work.

I used to work with a precinct captain who believed "mandatory" training was an order from The Almighty. It needed to be done right then and there!

As much as it drove me up the wall to deal with his reign of madness, it made sense. For as soon as the required updated training schedule was posted he had everyone attending as fast as possible. He prided himself on the fact that his precinct was the first to get training out of the way.

This was good, for every year other precincts had officers who had put off training until the last classes of the year. They were the ones writing for a waiver to the state and performing make-up sessions.

If you know you have a prescribed amount of required hours this year, get them over with as soon as you can. I always liked doing them in the winter months before spring arrived, so I could get on with life. Some departments will schedule you. Some allow you to select the best days. If you have input, get it over with sooner.

As you progress with your career, you'll have promotional tests and requirements to fulfill to earn stripes. If you don't believe me, just wait until the promotional announcement is posted. There will be a few officers who scramble to get all the hoops jumped through to make the requirements. Many don't make it.

If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. Right now, stop reading this and look at your sleeves. What's the next promotion you're due for? When will you be in line to submit for the promotion? Do you know the requirements? How many do you have completed, and what's the timeline for the completion of the remainder?

We're speaking about a promotion that affords you rank, privileges, and money! Make a chart in your locker, your files, or where you'll notice it daily. Mark down the completed items and make it your goal to get the remainder checked off. The problem with police work is that you can draw a transfer or special assignment that can alter plans. You could be injured or suffer other timeline set backs.

All of this sets your training and planning work ethic. If you learn this early and apply it throughout your career, you'll have a more successful and less stressful career. As you become FTOs and supervisors, apply this to your recruits and squads. They'll appreciate it, but don't call it "mandatory," just call it training.

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