Gov. Jay Nixon ordered a state commission on Thursday to overhaul police training in Missouri by Dec. 1, in hopes of reducing officer-involved shootings, improving community relationships, and teaching officers to better cope with the emotional rigors of the job, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Nixon’s announcement comes months after the Ferguson Commission, which he appointed, called for a massive increase in police training hours and skills. It also follows by a year the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by a Ferguson police officer, which touched off nationwide protests.
The number of hours and types of training required by the state for police officer continuing education, Nixon said, has barely changed since 1996. The length of police academy basic training required in the state’s bigger counties has essentially stagnated, too, at 600 hours, since 1979, according to state data.
“We’ve got to update our training,” Nixon said on Thursday, during a news conference at the St. Louis Police Academy downtown. “We all know a lot has changed since 1996.”