Police senior management must ensure that diminishing budgets do not negatively affect, eliminate or curtail training. Studies consistently indicate that the number one reason police departments are sued is due to failure to train or a departure from required training. Police executives must maintain the training budget.
Training is an investment; it is not an expense. Training must be continued. If the doing more with less approach can be used, it should be. For in-house training, establishing standard curriculum prevents duplication of effort and factual errors. This practice also ensures that a pre-determined set of skills are developed based on the training. All in-house training must be standardized, reviewed, authorized, and available via Powerpoint or other media so that a number of trainers can access it. The days of a trainer coming in unprepared or flying by the seat of his her pants with notes on index cards is over.
Each department should have a feedback method in which stakeholders can identify areas where training is needed. Officers will have more buy-in for training if the curriculum is addressing questions they have had.
Departments can look at reducing travel costs, training in-house trainers, sharing training costs with neighboring jurisdictions, on-line training, distance-learning, video-conferencing, and eliminating unnecessary expense for fancy hand outs or meals. The training must continue, however. Training is the only way that officers remain standing.